Wall Street had another up-and-down day on Thursday, with market participants trying to weigh all the cross-currents involved with the Fed's monetary policy, inflation, the war in Ukraine, and ongoing supply chain disruptions. The Nasdaq Composite Index (^IXIC -0.32%) initially moved higher, only to give up those gains and fall almost 1.5% before recovering somewhat. As of 1:30 p.m. ET, the index was down by about 0.5%.

Investors did get some support from one well-known retail giant. Costco Wholesale (COST -0.37%) posted solid advances that outpaced the rest of the Nasdaq-100 Index Thursday afternoon. However, Costco's gains were tiny compared to what little-known Momentus (MNTS -6.88%) achieved. Below, we'll look more closely at what was moving both of these companies' shares.

Two people shopping at a warehouse retail store.

Image source: Getty Images.

Costco keeps selling more stuff

Costco shares were up by more than 3.5% on Thursday afternoon. The warehouse retail giant enjoyed stellar sales results in March that showed the continuing strength of the U.S. consumer, which is easing some investors' fears about the possibility of a recession.

Costco's sales for the five-week period ending April 3 came in at $21.61 billion. That was up 18.7% from the same period a year ago. Comparable sales across its store network rose 17.2%, led by a 19.1% rise from its U.S. stores. A substantial portion of that sales increase was due to higher gasoline prices, but even after adjusting for fuel and foreign exchange impacts, comps were 12.2% across the company. However, Costco did point out that the period this year had one extra shopping day compared to last year's period, which provided a boost of 1.5 to 2 percentage points.

Just past the halfway point in its fiscal year, Costco also reported good results for its fiscal year to date. For the 31-week period ending April 3, revenue came in at $130 billion, up 16.7% year over year. Adjusted comps came in at 10.8%.

Costco has held up well during the COVID-19 pandemic and in the face of other pressures. Some onlookers are concerned that the stock is getting pricey, but those seeking defensive investments seem to feel comfortable with the shares at their current price.

Momentus lifts off

Shares of Momentus soared by almost 50% on Thursday. The commercial space company announced that it had entered into several launch agreements with SpaceX, the Elon Musk-led launch specialist.

Interestingly, much of the news here wasn't actually new. Momentus had revealed the agreements on March 8 during the conference call that followed the release of its fourth-quarter financial report. However, the new press release offered a clearer look at exactly what Momentus intends to do.

Under the terms of the agreements, Momentus hopes to send its Vigoride space tug into orbit via SpaceX launches in October 2022, January 2023, April 2023, and October 2023. This provides more depth regarding the company's schedule, which had already included a slot on the SpaceX launch scheduled for June. If Momentus gets the necessary approvals, the June launch will be the first demonstration flight for Vigoride, which has the capacity to carry a payload of between 200 kilograms and 750 kilograms.

Momentus hopes to meet the needs of customers that want to move their payloads to specific orbits that aren't accessible directly from Earth-based launches. It's unclear at this point whether SpaceX might be one of them. Would-be investors should also keep in mind that even after Thursday's jump, Momentus stock is still down almost 60% from the price at which it went public via a SPAC merger in late 2020.