The stock market had a relatively quiet day on Wednesday as market participants consolidated their gains from earlier in the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) fell back below the 30,000 level, but losses for the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) were mild. The Nasdaq Composite even managed to set a new record high.

Today's stock market

Index

Percentage Change

Point Change

Dow

(0.58%)

(174)

S&P 500

(0.16%)

(6)

Nasdaq Composite

+0.48%

+58

Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

The soaring stock market has been fertile ground for privately held companies to come public. Even after their IPOs, many stocks are able to sustain their upward momentum. Wednesday featured a couple of recent IPOs that stood out with solid gains, including Palantir Technologies (NYSE:PLTR) and Snowflake (NYSE:SNOW). Below, we'll look at what sent them higher and what their prospects look like.

White mosaic tiles spelling IPO against a yellow mosaic tile background.

Image source: Getty Images.

Mining profits

Palantir's stock jumped 22% on Wednesday. The data-mining company has had an impressive debut; its share price tripled from what it had been immediately after its late September IPO.

Palantir's software lets companies take their data and combine it with operational execution and decision-making. The idea behind Palantir's platform is to help users get actionable guidance from the data they collect.

Thus far, Palantir has demonstrated the value of its platform, especially with respect to clients in the government. The company sports a wide array of government contracts that make up a substantial portion of its overall sales. That's drawn some criticism from investors who prefer revenue to come from the private sector, but regardless of where it's coming from, sales at Palantir have grown impressively.

Palantir still isn't profitable, but it's making steady progress toward narrowing its losses on an adjusted basis. Despite some opacity from its relationships with government agencies, Palantir is worth keeping an eye on.

A pretty little Snowflake

Meanwhile, Snowflake picked up more than 7% Wednesday. The cloud-based data warehouse specialist has gotten a lot of attention after it came public at a lofty price. Yet so far, Snowflake has defied negative predictions, instead building on its first-day double to move ever higher.

Much of Snowflake's business borrows a page from other providers' playbooks, with capabilities that enable enterprises to use an optimized architecture to access data. What investors are starting to realize, though, is that Snowflake can work not only within businesses but across entire industries, enabling sharing of critical information that can boost the prospects of multiple companies in collaborative relationships.

Many investors simply can't get past Snowflake's valuation. With a market capitalization of nearly $84 billion, Snowflake emerged onto the public stock markets with much of its potential growth in share price behind it.

The big question facing Snowflake is whether competitors like the Amazon Web Services division of Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) and the Azure SQL Data Warehouse product (renamed Azure Synapse Analytics) from Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) will be able to catch up and integrate new features into their respective platforms. At this point, Snowflake is still securely ahead of its competitors. But with deep pockets and plenty of resources, counting Amazon and Microsoft out would be a huge mistake. Snowflake will have to keep up the pressure in order not to melt under the pressure from its larger tech stock counterparts.