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Why Akamai Technologies, NuVasive, and MacroGenics Jumped Today

Wednesday was a down day for the market, with major benchmarks pulling back from their record closes earlier in the week. The Dow fell by triple digits on earnings-related weakness from one of its most influential components, and in general, market participants seem to feel as though heightened valuations across many different sectors are making it harder for fundamental results to keep up with share-price gains. Yet despite the hiccup in popular indexes, several stocks posted good enough news to send their shares higher. Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ: AKAM), NuVasive (NASDAQ: NUVA), and MacroGenics (NASDAQ: MGNX) were among the best performers on the day. Below, we'll look more closely at these stocks to tell you why they did so well.

Akamai sees more interest

Shares of Akamai Technologies rose 4% after the company reported third-quarter financial results. The internet bandwidth efficiency specialist enjoyed revenue gains of 6% on strength in its cloud security solutions division. Akamai said that it did better internationally, with 18% sales gains compared to just a 1% move higher domestically. The core media delivery solutions business saw year-over-year declines on the top line, but Akamai nevertheless reported an acceleration in traffic growth within media. Akamai has raised some doubts with its past performance, so today's results were well-received.

Image source: Akamai Technologies.

Buybacks send NuVasive higher

NuVasive stock picked up more than 8% in the wake of the company's release of its third-quarter financial report and news of a major stock repurchase program. NuVasive's sales were up just 3%, but a more-than-25% move higher in adjusted net income helped power better-than-expected bottom-line performance. The maker of spinal surgical equipment technology also said that it would spend up to $100 million on stock buybacks over the next three years, seeking to take advantage of recent declines in its share price. NuVasive faces competition in an increasingly crowded market, but its early mover advantages should keep it ahead of rivals for the foreseeable future.

MacroGenics makes a deal

Finally, shares of MacroGenics jumped 17%. The tiny biotechnology company agreed to give worldwide rights to its experimental cancer therapy MGA012, which is a monoclonal antibody targeting the PD-1 protein. Incyte (NASDAQ: INCY) will collaborate with MacroGenics to commercialize MGA012, paying MacroGenics $150 million in upfront cash payments. An additional set of milestone payments could deliver another $750 million to MacroGenics if MGA012 is successful, along with royalties of 15% to 24% if MGA012 gains FDA approval and commercial success. Some question whether checkpoint inhibitor therapy is getting overhyped, but for now, MacroGenics is cashing in on interest in the area.

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Dan Caplinger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends NuVasive. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.