U.S. stocks ran into a little bit of a headwind today, with renewed concerns about bond yields, strength in the dollar and a worse-than-expected earnings report from No. 1 U.S. retailer Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT).
Fortunately, the housing news was better and gave stocks a little lift. The Commerce Department reported April’s housing starts totaled 1.1 million units, beating expectations. Many home builder stocks, such as KB Home (NYSE:KBH) and Ryland Group Inc (NYSE:RYL) moved higher on the announcement.
By day’s end, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.1%, the S&P 500 was down 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite was off 0.2%. The majority of sectors were trading lower today, but healthcare and financials were putting in a good showing.
Solid earnings and initiation of coverage were the driving forces behind several stocks today, such as Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO), Cheetah Mobile Inc (ADR) (NYSE:CMCM) and Plasmatech Biopharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:PTBI), and they are three of today’s best stocks.
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (TTWO)
TTWO stock took off today after reporting fourth-quarter adjusted earnings of 35 cents a share, ahead of the analysts’ expectations for 10 cents a share.
On the other hand, non-GAAP revenue of $427.7 million was below Zacks’ estimates of $458 million, even though the revenue was up 83% from the previous year.
Adding fuel to the stock rise was Sterne Agee CRT, which raised TTWO stock from “neutral” to “buy” with a $32 price target. TTWO stock closed at $28.62, up 18.3%.
Cheetah Mobile Inc (ADR) (CMCM)
CMCM stock blasted 15.6% higher today after reporting first-quarter earnings of 9 cents a share, up 125% from a year ago and beating expectations for 5 cents a share.
Revenue for the Chinese security and antivirus company was $108.5 million, which 113% higher than a year ago, and was also ahead of analysts’ expectations for $106.2 million.
CMCM stock has been on fire lately, doubling in price since the beginning of April. The stock has been substantially higher six of the last seven days.
Plasmatech Biopharmaceuticals Inc (PTBI)
PTBI stock was up nearly 16% this morning before pulling back to finish at $9.50, an increase of 2.5%.
The stock jumped at the opening bell after coverage was initiated on it by H.C. Wainwright, which gave it a “buy” rating and a price target of $15.
Yesterday, Plasmatech announced that it closed its previously announced acquisition of Abeona Therapeutics. Abeona has been working on therapies for lysosomal storage disease.
Plasmatech is a biopharmaceutical company that is developing gene therapies and cell therapy products for life-threatening diseases.
In the last two weeks, PBTI stock has jumped from less than $3, to today’s closing price of $9.50, an increase of nearly 220%.
As of this writing, Ethan Roberts does not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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