Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
Today, the stock market started the week on the right foot, with a better-than-expected 1.1% jump in industrial production raising spirits about the health of the manufacturing sector. Given the market's big jump in 2013, investors wanted to see cyclical prospects for the market pick up steam eventually, and even fears of the Fed's response to a stronger economy weren't enough to hold major market benchmarks back. Among the top performers today were Herbalife (NYSE:HLF), TASER International (NASDAQ:AAXN), and Eastman Kodak (NYSE:KODK).
Herbalife climbed more than 9% after the nutritional products company's new accounting firm completed its audit of financials prepared by its previous accountants, finding no material changes. Investors had feared that substantial restatements might be necessary in light of KPMG's resignation, but the findings supported the actual results. With Herbalife now potentially considering share buybacks or other capital-enhancing measures, those who've bet against the company's prospects are suffering now more than ever.
TASER jumped almost 9% on an analyst upgrade, with JPMorgan upgrading the stock to overweight. With the company having won international orders last week totaling $5.8 million for its stun guns, TASER sees the orders as part of its continuing expansion into the potentially lucrative Middle East and Asian regions. Gaining a global reputation could also help TASER's prospects closer to home as well, as purchasers become more familiar and comfortable with the nonlethal weapons as an alternative to traditional firearms.
Eastman Kodak rose more than 10%. Most investors haven't heard much from the company since it declared bankruptcy last year, but Kodak has emerged from bankruptcy, and a new version of the stock quietly started trading in late October, representing equity interests in the company's surviving commercial printing and packaging printing business. With the company having posted net income of almost $2 billion for the third quarter, Kodak has gotten the fresh start that bankruptcy provides, and it believes it can support commercial imaging demand and find growth opportunities going forward.