In the latest example of how markets can whipsaw back and forth in the short run, Tuesday featured a massive bounce from Monday's declines that took the S&P 500 to new record highs. Fears about Ukraine melted away on news that Russia was apparently backing down from its initial aggressive stance, and that helped broad-based benchmarks to gains of around 1.5% to 2%. But even though rising stocks dominated the market landscape today, E-Commerce China Dangdang (DANG), MBIA (MBI 3.23%), and SunEdison (SUNEQ) posted even more impressive gains Tuesday.
Dangdang climbed 15%, largely in sympathy with Chinese e-commerce rival Vipshop Holdings (VIPS -0.91%), which soared 32% after announcing strong fourth-quarter results and guiding its current-quarter revenue well above what investors had expected. Dangdang reported its own favorable earnings last week, and even though competitive threats would ordinarily send a rival's stock lower, Dangdang and Vipshop both appear well-positioned to take advantage of any rise in overall confidence among Chinese shoppers. With one potential obstacle to global growth seemingly disappearing if Russia doesn't reescalate its stance toward Ukraine, Dangdang and the rest of the Chinese market could benefit if conditions continue to improve.
MBIA gained 11% as the financial-insurance provider reported its latest quarterly results. Although the company's consolidated net income fell by almost 80% from the year-ago quarter, earnings per share of $0.68 were well above the negligible EPS figures that shareholders had expected from the provider of public finance insurance, structured finance insurance, and advisory services. The company has struggled to recover fully from the almost fatal blow that the financial crisis dealt MBIA in 2008, but CFO Chuck Chaplin believes that the company's U.S. public finance arm, National Public Finance Guarantee Corporation, will provide the bulk of MBIA's shareholder value going forward.
SunEdison rose 12% after Morgan Stanley upgraded the solar-project company's stock. Analysts at the Wall Street firm pointed to growth in the large-scale solar industry generally as a driver of SunEdison's future sales, and with solar peer Trina Solar (NYSE: TSL) also soaring on strong earnings today, the entire solar sector has looked bright lately. Still, the challenge for SunEdison in an increasingly competitive environment is to find ways to become sustainably profitable and to take full advantage of the rise in demand that falling solar-project costs have brought to the industry.