Stock market participants still pay a lot of attention to the Federal Reserve, and that was clear from the turnaround that stocks enjoyed on Tuesday. Early in the day, major market benchmarks eased downward, as a continuing decline in oil prices reflected general uncertainty about the state of the economy. However, Fed Chair Janet Yellen took advantage of an opportunity to speak before the Economic Club of New York to offer a conciliatory tone in her approach toward monetary policy, counteracting more hawkish comments from other Fed officials in recent days. Markets climbed after those comments, and the S&P 500 closed the day up almost 1%. Some stocks did even better, and Ambarella (NASDAQ:AMBA), Kinross Gold (NYSE:KGC), and Amaya (NASDAQOTH:AMYGF) were among the top performers on Tuesday.
Ambarella jumped 9% after the video chip manufacturer received favorable comments from analysts at Morgan Stanley. The firm raised its rating on Ambarella from Equal Weight to Overweight, countering sentiment among more bearish investors that the company is overly exposed to the sports-camera business. Among the areas in which Ambarella has found growth prospects recently are wearable technology, surveillance cameras, and unmanned aerial vehicles, and the opportunity to provide technology to assist automobile drivers could also support Ambarella's overall business. Despite challenges in making a transition from a past heavy reliance on providing materials for sports cameras, Ambarella has a clearer future in the long run after it gets through these short-term issues.
Kinross Gold gained 11% on a strong day for gold miners generally. Fed Chair Yellen's comments send the value of the U.S. dollar downward, and that helped support the precious metals complex. In particular, Kinross arguably has more exposure to changes in prevailing gold prices than some of its competitors, because its all-in sustaining costs are somewhat higher than the leaders in the industry. Kinross has made efforts to bring those costs down, and it expects that it could squeeze another $100 per ounce this year compared to late 2015 figures. In addition, Kinross benefits from lower costs resulting from a weaker Canadian dollar. All told, Kinross will likely continue to track gold price changes, but its future could get brighter if the recent bounce in commodities persists.
Finally, Amaya rose 14%. The company suffered a more than 20% loss early last week when CEO David Baazov was implicated in an insider trading case for the online-gaming company, but today's bounce came when Baazov said he would take an indefinite leave of absence. Baazov said that he would use the time to focus on plans to take Amaya private, and he said that he believes that stepping down will "avoid distraction for the company and its management" during his preparation to defend himself from the insider-trading charges. Meanwhile, Rafi Ashkenazi will take over as interim CEO, and investors appear relieved at the idea that Amaya will have a plan going forward regardless of the outcome of charges against Baazov.
Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Ambarella. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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