The stock market started out on an uncertain note on Friday, initially falling but cutting its losses in the first hour of the trading day. The S&P 500 (^GSPC 0.31%) was down about 0.4% as of 10:30 a.m. ET, and investors appeared to be a little wary of what news the weekend could bring. Ongoing concerns about banks both in the U.S. and in Europe dragged on sentiment.

Nevertheless, Wall Street is always looking for stocks that can outperform the market. Two that they recently focused on were Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN 0.20%) and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (CBRL -3.13%). Although the duo are in very different industries and don't necessarily have much in common other than being listed on the Nasdaq, positive assessments from stock analysts indicate optimism about the prospects for their respective businesses.

Regeneron gets a boost

Shares of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals were up another 1.5% early Friday. That followed much larger gains on Thursday and came as stock analysts weighed in on the latest news from the biotech company.

Regeneron's big move higher yesterday stemmed from positive news about its phase 3 clinical trial of Dupixent, a candidate treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The results met the trial's primary and secondary endpoints, demonstrating a significant reduction in severe or moderate exacerbation of COPD over the two-year period of the study. Dupixent has already been a blockbuster for Regeneron for use in a variety of other diseases, but widening its approved indications to include COPD would be a great boost for overall sales of the drug.

Analysts at Jefferies agreed, upgrading their rating on Regeneron stock from hold to buy and boosting its price target by $250 per share to $925. The analysts highlighted the fact that the Regeneron trial showed a much more significant reduction than many had expected, and that should put Dupixent in a strong position to gain approval for treating COPD.

In an industry that has seen a lot of huge swings, Regeneron's stock has been a reliable performer, moving steadily upward over the years. If it can keep earning victories with its treatment pipeline and also widen the use of its approved medicines for other diseases, then Regeneron should be in good position to continue growing over time.

Cracker Barrel is the place to be

Elsewhere, shares of Cracker Barrel were up about 1% early Friday. The restaurant chain with associated in-store retail operations got a vote of confidence on Wall Street as it seeks new growth opportunities.

Analysts at Argus upgraded their rating on Cracker Barrel stock from hold to buy. They also set a $126-per-share price target, which is more than 10% above the current stock price.

Argus believes that the efforts that Cracker Barrel has made to appeal to younger demographics are starting to pay off. In particular, the analysts mentioned adding appetizers to the restaurant's menu, as well as the availability of alcoholic beverages for patrons.

Investors have hoped that Cracker Barrel would be able to move forward after a tough few years. It's too early to tell for sure, but it's reassuring that at least some professionals on Wall Street expect better things from the restaurant chain going forward.