What happened

The stock market is having a strong day on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 higher by about 2% at 11:20 a.m. EDT. However, that gain is nothing compared to what we're seeing out of Tanger Factory Outlet Centers (SKT -1.20%), which is up by more than 30% today alone.

So what

There are two main reasons Tanger's stock is spiking higher. First, the overall stock market is moving higher, and the sectors that have been beaten down the most lately, such as retail and hospitality, are among the top performers. We're finally starting to see signs that the COVID-19 pandemic is reaching its peak, and investors are seeing light at the end of the tunnel.

Person holding shopping bags outside a store's entrance.

Image source: Getty Images.

Second, and more significantly, Tanger just announced its succession plan, under which CEO Steven Tanger (son of the company's founder) is stepping down from the top role at the end of 2020. Now, generally the market reacts negatively to a CEO's departure, but Tanger has made a pretty impressive hire.

The company's next CEO will be Stephen Yalof, who was just hired as president and COO, and who has been CEO of Simon Property Group's (SPG -0.77%) Premium Outlets brand since 2014. If you aren't familiar, Premium Outlets is the largest outlet brand in the business, so to put it in simple terms, Tanger couldn't have found someone with more relevant or successful experience.

In the same press release, Tanger also announced that its executive team and board have decided to temporarily reduce their salaries for the good of the company during this tough time.

Now what

For one thing, the press release and Yalof's hiring certainly give investors confidence that the company sees a bright future ahead of it. And if the COVID-19 pandemic starts to taper off sooner than previously expected, it could mean that Tanger's properties could be open within a few months.

While we're a long way from being out of the woods, Tanger investors now have fewer reasons to believe the company is in serious trouble, and that's why we're seeing such a move.