Monday brought another set of solid gains to the stock market. Enthusiasm about the potential success of COVID-19 vaccination efforts and economic strength helped market participants lift major market indexes substantially. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI -1.24%), S&P 500 (^GSPC -1.46%), and Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC -1.62%) all were higher, with the Nasdaq finishing at a record and the S&P falling short by just a fraction of a point.


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Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

As if the day's regular trading session wasn't enough, some stocks continued to do well in the after-hours session. Palo Alto Networks (PANW -1.69%) and Cara Therapeutics (CARA -5.74%) were both up by double-digit percentages late Monday, and below, we'll go into the details.

Palo Alto has a great report

Shares of Palo Alto Networks jumped more than 10% Monday night after hours. The cybersecurity specialist's quarterly results were solid, and the company was optimistic about its future.

The numbers from Palo Alto were highly encouraging. Revenue for the company's fiscal fourth quarter was higher by 28% from the year-ago period. Adjusted net income grew 12% year over year, with adjusted earnings of $1.60 per share coming in better than many investors had expected.

Person monitoring multiple screens in a computer room.

Image source: Getty Images.

Palo Alto has worked hard to take full advantage of the digital transformation that businesses have gone through over the past year and a half. In particular, Palo Alto's security focus has been on making sure that businesses whose employees are working from home don't inadvertently put their digital assets at risk of cybersecurity threats.

At the same time, Palo Alto has done a great job of mixing a commitment to the cloud with the recognition that many of its clients prefer on-premises cybersecurity installations. That flexibility could continue to serve the company well into the future.

Cara wins approval

Cara Therapeutics did even better, soaring almost 25% after hours. After releasing solid financial results earlier this month, the company announced a major win on arguably its most important pipeline prospect.

It said that the Food and Drug Administration had approved its Korsuva injection for use in dialysis patients suffering from moderate to severe itchy skin associated with chronic kidney disease. The company had received priority review by the FDA, and phase 3 trials had demonstrated its efficacy.

Cara won't get all the benefits of Korsuva's approval, however. The company had agreed to an exclusive license with Vifor Pharma, under which Cara gets 60% of profits from U.S. sales in clinics other than those operated by Fresenius Medical Care. A previous arrangement set out a 50/50 split for treatment at Fresenius dialysis clinics.

The next step for Cara is ensuring that Medicare will reimburse the costs of Korsuva for patients. That might not happen until early 2022, but investors aren't wasting any time showing their excitement.