The stock market continued its upward trajectory during the holiday-shortened week on Tuesday, as investors seemed content to glide into the end of the year, and even though global oil prices continued to show signs of weakness, domestic prices of West Texas Intermediate crude stabilized, and many energy stocks rallied in hopes that the market could soon find a longer-term bottom. Major market benchmarks climbed almost 1%, but many stocks did much better. Joy Global (JOY), Finish Line (FINL), and Iridium Communications (IRDM 2.46%) were among market movers making larger advances on the day.
Joy Global gained 8% as the maker of heavy equipment for the mining industry kept climbing following an analyst upgrade on Monday. Pros at FBR believe that Joy Global will continue to see pressure on revenue throughout 2016 and 2017, expecting ongoing weakness in the commodities industry having an impact on the equipment maker's customer base being able to make new-equipment purchases. Yet Joy Global has done a good job of clamping down on its costs, and that should put the company in a better position to rebound once the current abysmal conditions in mining start to turn around. Joy Global shares have seen extensive losses in 2015, and today's gains won't do much to put a dent in the red ink for shareholders. Nevertheless, if it can keep executing as well as it has, Joy Global has a good chance of emerging from the current deep cyclical downturn and being stronger than ever.
Finish Line climbed almost 10% as the athletic shoe and apparel retailer got an upgrade from analysts at Merrill Lynch. The firm believes that sales of athletic footwear have been strong during the current holiday season, as more shoppers move toward wearing casual athletic shoes as their part of their everyday wardrobe. Although investors have seen the attraction of the athletic apparel market in bidding up shares of many companies in the industry, Finish Line has been on the outside looking in, and as a result, it carries a valuation that's far more attractive than most of its peers in athletic footwear. With its ability to piggyback off marketing from high-profile brands, Finish Line has potential for further gains.
Finally, Iridium Communications was up 8%. The move is likely in response to the successful launch by commercial spacecraft specialist SpaceX of its Falcon 9 rocket, which sent nearly a dozen data-relay satellites into orbit before having its booster stage land intact near its Cape Canaveral launch site. Iridium is relying on commercial launches for its Iridium Next network of next-generation satellites, which it hopes will upgrade its existing capability dramatically in allowing customers to communicate by voice and data from remote locations around the world. After a SpaceX failure during the summer, some worried that Iridium's planned deployment of the Iridium Next network would face long delays. The most recent success suggests that further delays won't be necessary, stoking excitement that Iridium could at long last become an even more important component of global communications.