The stock market pulled back from record levels on Wednesday as investors wondered whether the drop in long-term interest rates signaled weaker economic conditions than they had originally thought. The modest losses in the broader market weren't enough to hold back many individual winners, though, and among the best-performing today were Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), Synaptics (NASDAQ:SYNA), and FuelCell Energy (NASDAQ:FCEL), each of which posted solid advances.
Twitter gained almost 11% after favorable remarks about the social-media company from analysts. Even after today's advance, Twitter has seen its stock drop significantly since its initial public offering, with shares currently fetching less than they did on the first day Twitter went public. But investors will recall that Twitter's main rival saw even more dramatic share-price declines before its shareholders figured out the true potential from social media. Twitter might not offer the broad-based appeal that some of its rivals do, but bulls argue that the company has more dedication from those who do use the service, and that should help Twitter reap more revenue from its eventual monetization efforts. The key for investors to remember is that with most stocks, there's usually a share price at which the company will suddenly look attractive and a higher price at which it will look much uglier.
Synaptics jumped 12% as reports surfaced that the company would likely take a majority stake in its current Renesas SP Driver joint venture, with Renesas Electronics seeking to sell the stake. Given the importance of the joint venture in supplying driver chips that help some of the most popular smartphone displays function properly, Synaptics has a chance to latch onto the success of the mobile-device manufacturers that it serves. Given the gold-rush mentality in the smartphone space right now, Synaptics' sense of urgency is a good sign that the company is on top of its best prospects.
FuelCell Energy rose more than 9% after analysts issued a buy rating on the maker of larger-scale fuel-cell technology. FuelCell's peers often get more attention that it does, given their emphasis on smaller-scale fuel-cells with applications based more on portability and remote production capacity. By contrast, FuelCell Energy tends to focus on larger-scale generation facilities with its stationary fuel-cell power plants. But as technological advances continue, investors are optimistic that FuelCell Energy can cut its costs gradually and make its products more economically viable for consumers. That in turn could unlock the huge growth potential in the space, and investors have waited a long time for those trends to manifest.