Stocks returned to their winning ways on Tuesday, bouncing back as big-name technology stocks led the major market indexes higher. The Dow and S&P 500 climbed back above their starting points for the year, both rising more than 1% on the session, and firmness in the energy markets also helped support the positive attitude on Wall Street. Among the best-performing stocks on the day were Triumph Group (TGI 3.26%), Pep Boys (NYSE: PBY), and Chesapeake Energy (CHKA.Q).
Triumph Group jumped 19% after the maker of parts for the aerospace industry named former Raytheon and Lockheed Martin executive Daniel Crowley as its new CEO. Crowley takes the spot held by Richard Ill, Triumph's founder, who had stepped in after the previous CEO resigned eight months ago.
Triumph has struggled through much of 2015, with the company looking for ways to broaden its scope, and become more internally efficient in its business practices. With Crowley intending to do a complete strategic review in order to try to improve the company's performance, Triumph investors hope that the general upward trend in the aerospace arena will be enough to keep the stock moving higher once Crowley takes over in early January.
Pep Boys climbed 9% as the bidding war for the auto-parts retailer continued. Billionaire Carl Icahn boosted his bid for the company to $18.50 per share, one-upping a rival bid from Japanese tire manufacturer Bridgestone. Pep Boys had originally made a deal with Bridgestone, but Icahn made an initial bid earlier this month.
Icahn said in the regulatory filing that it wanted to ensure that Pep Boys didn't boost the termination fee that Bridgestone would receive if their deal didn't go through, but that a higher bid from Icahn might be forthcoming if Pep Boys kept the current fee in place. With Icahn holding a 12% stake in Pep Boys, he stands to gain if Bridgestone ends up spending more to win the company, even if it means Icahn misses out on owning the entire company.
Finally, Chesapeake Energy climbed 13% in response to a huge day in the natural-gas market. The return of winter weather to the Northeast has helped support natural-gas prices, which climbed another 6.5%, to $2.37 per million BTUs. The rise is just the latest in a bounce that has added $0.60 to natural-gas prices in just the past week or so, rebounding strongly after falling to a 14-year low earlier in December.
Crude oil prices also climbed, further raising hopes among energy investors that hard-hit companies like Chesapeake could fare better in 2016 than they have this year. Nevertheless, with many fundamental problems still facing the company, Chesapeake is far from a certain bet for shareholders, even if the energy market finally stabilizes at current levels.