The stock markets were ebullient in Tuesday trading, with the S&P 500 closing 1.8% higher on investor relief that finally, election season is over -- and the campaign ads are at an end. Shares of General Electric (GE 1.20%), maker of airplane engines and gas turbines, and industrial bellwether, raced ahead of the market and booked a gain twice as big, up 4.4% at the closing bell.
Contrary to what you might think, GE's gain may not be tied to the election results at all (which are, after all, still unknown).
Fact is, General Electric stock has been on an uninterrupted bull run ever since the company reported earnings six days ago. From Thursday last week to close of trading today, GE stock has gone nowhere but up -- and perhaps for good reason.
After all, as my Foolish colleague Lou Whiteman pointed out at the time, GE's results were kind of fabulous. The company reported $0.06 per share in pro forma profit where analysts had expected a loss, and booked $19.4 billion in revenue where the Street had foreseen only $18.7 billion.
Moreover, GE has cut its debt load by $11.7 billion so far this year, is on track with its cost-cutting plans, and even generated positive industrial free cash flow of $514 million.
Looking ahead, GE promised investors to as much as quintuple that number, generating free cash flow of $2.5 billion in Q4 -- and to continue generating cash into 2021. As CEO Larry Culp stated at the time, GE's "markets are, by and large, stabilizing" and "GE's transformation is accelerating."
Investors can hardly ask for much more than that.