On Tuesday, the stock market overcame concerns stemming from economic data to post modest gains. Even though housing starts and permits fell sharply, and even though the Consumer Price Index rose more than expected, investors didn't panic. Instead, they acted like they believed the economic recovery remains intact and that the data points amount to temporary aberrations. In addition to overall optimism, several strong moves from high-profile stocks helped improve investor sentiment, with SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY.DL), 8x8 (NYSE:EGHT), and E*TRADE Financial (NASDAQ:ETFC) ranking among the best performers in the stock market today.
SolarCity soared almost 18% after the U.S. residential solar giant announced that it would purchase a maker of photovoltaic solar panels with the intent of boosting its profits through vertical integration. SolarCity also said that it would look to open a manufacturing plant in New York, hoping to add 1 gigawatt of module capacity as a stepping stone toward eventually boosting capacity to 10 gigawatts. By locating a panel-production facility in the U.S., SolarCity won't have to worry about the ongoing trade tensions between China and the U.S. and Europe, instead ensuring a constant supply of panels to fund its operations. By taking its module production in-house, SolarCity can deliver more predictable growth limited only by demand for its rooftop systems.
8x8 rose almost 10% as the voice-over-Internet specialist announced that its U.K. division will supply cloud-computing support and services to users of the Crown Commercial Services G-Cloud 5 platform. With G-Cloud aiming to make it easier for businesses to obtain cloud services, 8x8 hopes to have the same success focusing on the enterprise sector in the U.K. that it has had in the U.S., all the while giving it experience in the international markets. As the Internet becomes more globally available, 8x8 has a huge opportunity to bring its business model to the world. If the U.K. offering goes well, it could be a stepping stone to bigger and better things elsewhere.
E*TRADE Financial gained 8%. The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations took a closer look at high-frequency trading, and the possible impact it has on markets, especially in light of the high-profile book Flash Boys from Michael Lewis having included assertions that the stock market was essentially rigged. With the subcommittee's questioning suggesting that lawmakers wouldn't seek to make major changes that would change the playing field for online brokers like E*TRADE Financial, stocks throughout the sector rose on hopes that investors will have more confidence trading in public markets after the investigation.