On Thursday, the stock market returned to the gloom and doom that prevailed earlier in the week. Traders once again looked at the Chinese markets, and had concerns about a global macroeconomic slowdown that could bring the seven-year-old bull market to a close.
Those fears sent major market benchmarks down between 2% and 3% on the day. Still, some stocks did well, and MakeMyTrip (NASDAQ:MMYT), Mistras Group (NYSE:MG), and Silver Wheaton (NYSE:WPM) all managed to post solid gains on Thursday.
MakeMyTrip soared 24% as the Indian online travel company announced that Chinese counterpart Ctrip.com International (NASDAQ:TCOM) had made a $180 million investment in the company. Ctrip will take an initial position through convertible bonds, and MakeMyTrip also gave the company permission to acquire its common shares on the open market.
As a result, Ctrip might eventually build a stake of as much as 26.6% of MakeMyTrip's outstanding shares, and at that point, Ctrip will gain the right to name a director to the Indian company's board. Given the potential that both markets have for outsized growth in the years to come, the deal makes sense for both companies, but is especially opportune for the smaller MakeMyTrip.
Mistras Group jumped 18% in the wake of its fiscal second-quarter earnings report, in which the maker of infrastructure and industrial testing equipment boosted its guidance for the full fiscal year, and exceeded expectations on the top and bottom lines. Mistras has some exposure to the ailing energy industry, and a broader economic downturn across the globe wouldn't do the company any favors.
Yet the company has taken steps to fight back against the negative impact of the strong U.S. dollar, and Mistras hopes that it will be able to overcome any macroeconomic headwinds, and still make further progress going forward. On a day when investors needed any good news they could find, the idea that Mistras is still fundamentally strong resonated with traders.
Finally, Silver Wheaton rose 6% on a strong day for precious metals. Both gold and silver posted gains, with gold prices rising about $15 per ounce, and silver climbing by more than 2%. Skeptics will note that, in past years, precious metals would have posted much greater gains after an emerging-market disruption of the size that China appears to be going through now.
Any rise at all shows the extent of the fear involved, because market participants have taken past signs of a potential economic slowdown as reason to sell off commodities rather than buying them. If the Chinese crisis resolves itself favorably, then precious metals could fall as quickly as they rose, and that could spell further trouble for the beaten-down streaming specialist.