The last week of the year is traditionally a relatively quiet one, although investors haven't gotten the Santa Claus rally they had hoped to see. Even so, stock markets were in a reasonably good place on Wednesday, with index futures suggesting a modest upward move of around a quarter percent when the regular trading session starts at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Even in a slow week, though, some stocks are finding ways to post noticeable gains. The moves higher in Generac Holdings (GNRC 2.47%) and Trip.com Group (TCOM 0.95%) certainly weren't extreme, but they still reflected upbeat views on their respective stocks. Read on to learn more about why these two growth stocks made it into the headlines on a slow Wednesday morning.

Generac gets favorable comments from Wall Street analysts

Shares of Generac Holdings were up 3% in premarket trading on Wednesday morning. The maker of backup electrical generator equipment and related systems showed up on the radar screen of some stock analysts, and shareholders liked the comments they made.

The comments came from Janney Montgomery Scott, which initiated its coverage on Generac with a buy rating. Janney also offered a fair value estimate of $160 per share for Generac stock, which would be a huge boost over the stock's current price in the lower $90s.

Janney admits that Generac's core business of providing standby power generators for residential properties is likely to struggle, as higher mortgage rates have weighed on the housing market and thereby threaten to curtail construction of new homes and upgrade activity on existing ones. Moreover, deteriorating macroeconomic conditions could leave even those who would still like to buy Generac equipment facing financial challenges that could prevent them from making purchases.

Yet in Janney's view, the plunge in Generac's stock price from its peak levels already fully discounts a future slowdown. Moreover, investors have largely ignored Generac's exposure to the clean energy industry, despite products like a solar battery storage system to supplement its traditional generator product line. With plenty of liquidity, a history of generating free cash flow, and the possibility of stock repurchases, Generac has a lot of room to recover from its recent weakness.

Trip.com hopes for a favorable COVID-19 resolution in China

Trip.com Group shares were up about half a percent, building on gains of more than 4% on Tuesday. The Chinese online travel portal has high hopes that it could be on the brink of a new leg higher, even as difficulties plague China's public health system.

Worldwide, the travel industry has typically celebrated when various countries open up their markets from pandemic-related restrictions. China has been one of the last countries to ponder reopening options, and investors have often had their hopes dashed as the Chinese government resisted past efforts to reopen its economy.

More recently, though, steps to ease the requirements for travelers coming into China have helped bolster Trip.com's prospects. Yet the measures come at a time when China is undergoing a wave of new COVID-19 infections, and although official reports still indicate relatively low numbers, third-party reporting suggests that there could be millions of new cases every day right now.

For Trip.com to mount a full recovery, it needs not only for China to lift restrictions, but also for Chinese travelers to feel comfortable moving around. Once those two things line up, though, shareholders hope to see pent-up demand explode higher and bring bigger gains to Trip.com stock.