As 2015 draws to a close, Wall Street seems hell bent on riding the coattails of oil — one day up, the next day down. U.S. markets sold off today after crude oil slid more than 3% again, once more dropping below $37 a barrel.
The culprit du jour for crude oil was another unexpected increase in U.S. stockpiles. The Energy Information Agency (EIA) reported additional inventory of 2.6 million barrels in the week ending Christmas Day. Analysts were expecting a drop of 2.5 million barrels, so the increase was a bit of a shock to investors.
In other economic reports, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that November’s pending home sales was off 0.9%. It would have been less, but October’s number was revised higher. This was the third time in four months that pending sales have dropped.
By day’s end, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 were both off 0.7%, while the Nasdaq lost 0.8%.
There were fewer stocks with big price moves and high volume than usual, but Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE:WTW), Fairchild Semiconductor Intl Inc (NASDAQ:FCS) and Cadiz Inc (NASDAQ:CDZI) are a few that soared above the rest to become three of today’s best stocks. Here’s what propelled them higher:
Weight Watchers International, Inc. (WTW)
“Are you ready? Let’s do this together.“
Those were the inspiring words spoken by Oprah Winfrey in a new video commercial released on Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) yesterday, sending WTW stock over 19% higher today. Interestingly, the ad debuted on television on Christmas Eve, but sending out the tweet to 30 million followers had a much greater impact on WTW’s stock price.
The stock soared from near $7 to $28 in the past couple months after announcing that Ms. Winfrey had purchased a 10% stake in Weight Watchers, but then pulled back off its highs to $18 a share. Today’s action put WTW stock over its 50-day moving average once again.
Fairchild Semiconductor Intl Inc (FCS)
FCS stock was another winner, up nearly 4%, after announcing that an unnamed bidder is interested in purchasing all of FCS’ outstanding shares at $21.70 a share. The company would only identify the prospective purchaser as “Party G”.
The bid is above the one submitted by ON Semiconductor Corp (NASDAQ:ON) last month for $20 a share. Prior to today, that offer was considered to be acceptable to FCS’ board of directors, and the company is saying it still supports the ON deal.
Bloomberg is reporting that the new offer is a revised one from a group led by China Resources Power Holdings Co. Ltd and Hua Capital Management. Their previous bid was rejected by the board two weeks ago as not being one that was superior to the one by ON.
Cadiz Inc (CDZI)
Cadiz stock bolted 27% higher today after the Los Angeles, CA, land developer signed a lease with Water Asset Management (WAM) to lease them 2,100 acres in California’s San Bernardino County, for $12 million.
Another part of the agreement was giving Cadiz the exclusive right to negotiate with WAM for another 7,500-acre lease in the future. That lease would bring in the additional hefty sum of $43 million.
As of this writing, Ethan Roberts does not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
More From InvestorPlace
- 10 Biggest Mergers and Acquisitions of 2015
- 6 Companies That Won’t Be Around in 2017
- 10 Cheap Stocks Under $10 to Buy for 2016