The week started out on a good note, after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke cheered the market with his assurance that the Fed will continue to pump easy money into the U.S. economy. The optimism waned quickly, though, and the major U.S. indexes spent the next three days giving back some of Monday's gains. Why? Perhaps investors realized that Bernanke's assurance that the weak economy necessitated accommodative monetary policy underscored the fact that, well, we have a weak economy.
By the time the dust had settled on Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
The week's big winners
Arena wasn't the only drugmaker soaring this wee,k though. Diabetes-drug specialist Amylin Pharmaceuticals
Top 3 Performing Russell 3000 Companies
Weekly Price Change
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Weekly price change is March 23-March 30. Includes only companies with a market cap of $250 million or higher.
Joining in on the big gains during the week were Molycorp
The rare-earth mining industry is steaming ahead. Or at least that's the conclusion that investors drew from the earnings report from Chinese miner Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare Earth Hi Tech. The company's earnings soared 363% on revenue growth of 119%, as China's appetite for rare-earth metals continues. The strong report from Inner Mongolia Baotou drove investor excitement for other rare-earth miners, such as Molycorp. However, all may not be lollipops and unicorns -- as my fellow Fool Sean Williams pointed out, Inner Mongolia Baotau noted that prices for rare earths continue to fall and could hit earnings for the back half of the year.
For Teekay, the week's boost came largely on the back of an upgrade from Wall Street research firm Dahlman Rose. Dahlman highlighted the recovery in oil prices and suggested that a sustained recovery would be good news for Teekay and fellow tanker operators such as Frontline. It raised both Teekay and Frontline's stock ratings to buy.
By week's end, Molycorp had tacked on 15% while Teekay was up 13%.
That's it for this week's top-performers recap. If you're looking for some ideas for strong outperformers for the rest of year, The Motley Fool has created a brand new free report titled "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2012." In it, my fellow Fools reveal a top pick that's poised for explosive growth ahead. Get instant access -- it's free.
Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer owns shares of Teekay Tankers but has no financial interest in any of the other companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter, @KoppTheFool,or on Facebook. The Fool's disclosure policy prefers dividends over a sharp stick in the eye.
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