The stock market just kept on climbing on Thursday, driven by optimism that the global economy will survive the COVID-19 pandemic in the long run. The Nasdaq Composite managed to power ahead for yet another record close, but gains in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) and S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) were also respectable.

Today's stock market

Index

Percentage Change

Point Change

Dow

+0.68%

+185

S&P 500

+0.64%

+21

Nasdaq Composite

+1.00%

+110

Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

During the coronavirus bear market, many young companies got nervous that they would no longer be able to get the funding they needed from the capital markets. Yet the market's recovery has opened the doors to cash once again, and several companies have taken advantage lately. Today's initial public offerings included Oak Street Health (NYSE: OSH) and Rocket Companies (NYSE:RKT), and although they didn't get quite the same reception, they still successfully got off the ground.

A healthy win for Oak Street

Oak Street Health was the more successful of the two big IPOs of the day. The healthcare provider for adults on Medicare had a lot of interest from investors, and its share price reflected heavy demand for the offering.

Oak Street started the day on a positive note, announcing that it had priced its 15.6 million share offering at $21 per share. That was far above the original $15 to $17 per share range that it had initially expected, and even exceeded the revision for $19 to $20 per share.

Yet even that proved far from sufficient in most investors' eyes. Shares opened at roughly double that offering price, and by the close of business, Oak Street's stock had closed above $39 -- up more than 85% on its first day.

The most prominent healthcare stocks  lately have concentrated on digital providers of health services, so it's comforting to see primary care centers attracting so much interest. If Oak Street can successfully grow, then its business model could prove to be an example for others to follow.

A rocket angling up and to the left, with plume of exhaust underneath.

Image source: Getty Images.

Rocket lifts off -- eventually

Elsewhere, Rocket Companies managed to post a first-day gain as well. The parent company of Quicken Loans and Rocket Mortgage didn't quite live up to expectations, though.

At first glance, the 19% rise in the stock price on Thursday seems like a reasonable start for Rocket as a publicly traded company. Yet the IPO misfired in several ways. Company officials had originally hoped to sell 150 million shares in the offering at a price between $20 and $22 per share. When it became clear that there wasn't enough demand for the mortgage provider, Rocket slashed the size of its offering to just 100 million. The offering price also dropped to $18 per share.

Bullish investors still have a lot of hope for Rocket. The company's well-known app promises an easier process for purchasing homes, and a healthy housing market combined with low interest rates has heightened interest in new and refinanced mortgage borrowing. With no clear dominant player in the mortgage industry, the field is open for Rocket to try to grab more market share.

Yet there's also plenty of risk right now, especially with the economy in recession and plenty of unanswered questions about how durable a recovery might be. All of those factors seemed to keep Rocket from launching higher, and now it'll be up to the company to demonstrate its fundamental strength in outpacing its competitors.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.