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For the second day in a row, stocks didn't deliver the results that bullish investors had hoped to see. Despite modest gains for the Dow, the broader S&P 500, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite, both posted declines on the day. Yet, even with the gloomy mood, many stocks celebrated with substantial gains, including Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD), Portugal Telecom (NYSE:PTGCY), and YY (NASDAQ:YY).
Rite Aid soared almost 9%. The drugstore chain reported same-store sales growth in December of 2.9%, continuing to accelerate its growth as it keeps trying to turn itself around amid substantial debt and competitive threats from larger drugstore rivals. Once again, though, pharmacy gains were much higher than the overall growth in sales. That suggests ongoing weakness in the front end of the stores, and many investors would like to see that improve before they get fully behind Rite Aid's stock.
Portugal Telecom picked up more than 9% on a good day for southern European telecom companies, with Telecom Italia (NYSE:TI) also posting solid gains of nearly 8%. Europe has slowly dragged itself out of recession, and investors have looked to the continent's markets as potential outperformers if the recovery continues. Portugal Telecom, Telecom Italia, and other peers across Europe largely suffered substantial losses during the eurozone's financial difficulties, and so it makes sense that they'd bounce back the strongest in times of improving conditions.
Chinese social-media company YY jumped 11% as investors get more bullish on the prospects for China. Throughout 2013, Chinese Internet stocks have performed well, with giant online-search company Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU), and smaller players alike posting enviable total returns. As investors adjust their portfolios for the New Year, YY could see more volatility if the trend that helped send it up about 250% in 2013 starts to falter. For now, though, shareholders seem committed to the company and its future.
Fool contributor Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter @DanCaplinger. The Motley Fool recommends Baidu. The Motley Fool owns shares of Baidu. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.