Stocks received a robust lift from a falling dollar and lower Treasuries on speculation that the Federal Reserve won’t raise interest rates after next week’s FOMC meeting.
The S&P 500 added 1%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by nearly the same amount. The Nasdaq Composite was the day’s big winner, up nearly 1.5%.
On a banner day for stocks, Bluebird Bio Inc (NASDAQ:BLUE), Fitbit Inc (NYSE:FIT) and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co (NASDAQ:GT) were legitimate standouts.
Bluebird Bio Inc (BLUE)
Shares of biotechnology firm bluebird bio Inc soared 11.3% on more than triple the average daily volume after Goldman Sachs had some positive things to say about the stock.
Goldman added Bluebird to the firm’s Conviction Buy list on expectations that the shares could more than double, and gave it a $135 price target.
Per Goldman’s note: “BLUE is entering a value-inflection point given: (1) a more potent gene therapy is in the clinic and we expect Gen1 vs. Gen2 data at the R&D day, with a full LentiGlobin update at ASH; (2) the CAR T/gene editing programs are to be unveiled; and (3) two pivotal readouts in mid-17+ result in a transition to commercial focus.”
The move thrust BLUE shares back into the black for the year-to-date.
Fitbit Inc (FIT)
Shares of wearable device maker Fitbit Inc rocketed higher on Thursday thanks to some analyst chatter.
Mizuho Securities analyst Betty Chen reiterated a “buy” rating on FIT, noting that she is bullish on the company’s long-term prospects. Fitbit’s devices, the Fitbit Charge 2 and Flex 2, have also been garnering good reviews, which is seen as another catalyst for the shares.
“Combined with the Alta and Blaze, FIT has launched 4 new devices in FY16, outpacing the rate over the last two years. In addition, Fitbit’s cross-platform compatibility with both Android and iOS expands the addressable market size,” Chen said.
FIT stock finished 8.6% higher.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co (GT)
Shares of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co jumped 5.1% on more than double the average daily volume following news of big shareholder rewards from the tire giant. At its investor day Thursday, GT unveiled a 43% dividend hike.
That will bring Goodyear’s annual dividend to 40 cents per share from 28 cents — still just a dividend yield of 1.2%, but certainly better than shareholders were receiving.
Citi Research analyst Itay Michaeli reiterated a “buy” rating and $37 price target on GT stock.
The increased dividend is part of a wider turnaround plan by Goodyear that “includes growth spending, debt reduction and restructuring as well as shareholder friendly moves,” says Barron’s.
As of this writing, Todd Shriber did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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