The general mood was upbeat on Wall Street Friday as market participants were swayed by indications that China and the U.S. might be able to reach some sort of resolution to their ongoing trade dispute. Investors have been on edge through multiple cycles of escalation, retaliation, reconciliation, and re-escalation that have gone on for months, but by and large, the conflict hasn't made them act any differently.
Some companies' share prices got especially large boosts, and not solely based on the trade war optimism. SAP (NYSE: SAP), Slack Technologies (NYSE: WORK), and Lloyds Banking Group (NYSE: LYG) were among the day's best performers. Here's why they did so well.
SAP bids its CEO farewell, sees good times ahead
Shares of SAP rose 9.5% after the German cloud infrastructure and technology company reported favorable preliminary results for the third quarter. Total revenue rose approximately 13% on a 37% rise in cloud-related sales, and earnings were higher by 28% year over year. New cloud bookings soared 38%, showing the importance of the segment to SAP's overall results. Investors also seemed pleased that CEO Bill McDermott will leave the company, stepping aside to allow board members Jennifer Morgan and Christian Klein to serve as co-CEOs. The cloud business has been integral to SAP's success for a while now, and shareholders have high hopes that the company's strategic direction will remain fruitful for a long time to come.
Image source: Slack Technologies.
More people are Slacking off
Slack Technologies' stock jumped 9% following the release of the SaaS workplace communications toolmaker's latest user metrics. The company said that more than 12 million people are using Slack actively every day, up 37% from the same time last year. More than 6 million of those users represent paying customers, and Slack notes that with almost 600,000 active registered developers, there are a lot of people with skin in the game when it comes to making the company's service more valuable. The stock had been mired in a slump previously, so shareholders are no doubt hopeful that Friday's move signals the start of a more-positive ongoing trend.
Lloyds hopes for a Brexit deal
Finally, shares of Lloyds Banking Group picked up 12.5%. Just as U.S. investors have been nervous about trade relations with China, U.K. investors have worried about whether their nation's leaders will be able to successfully negotiate terms of a deal to leave the European Union. On Friday, it appeared to grow more likely that new Prime Minister Boris Johnson will indeed be able to reach terms with the EU on a Brexit deal. That would potentially put an end to the political turmoil that has distracted the U.K. for a few years now. For Lloyds and other financial institutions, a reasonable deal could help by supporting the British pound, as well as by rendering it unnecessary to make expensive investments in continental Europe in order to maintain a presence there in a post-Brexit environment.
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