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Tuesday, October 4, 2022
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As Markets Plunged, These 2 Stocks Hit All-Time Highs

Investors lost confidence in the stock market on Tuesday, responding negatively to inflation readings for August that were higher than most had expected. By the end of the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI -3.94%) had registered one of its largest daily point drops in its history, and the S&P 500 (^GSPC -4.32%) and Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC 0.00%) were down even more sharply on a percentage basis.


Daily Percentage Change

Daily Point Change




S&P 500






Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

All 30 Dow stocks were down, and just five stocks out of the S&P 500 managed to eke out gains on the day. Yet there were a couple of companies whose shares not only managed to move higher but also set new all-time highs. Below, you’ll learn more about why Albemarle (ALB 0.38%) and Catalyst Pharmaceuticals (CPRX 0.99%) bucked the big downward move on Wall Street and moved further into record territory.

Albemarle keeps charging up

Albemarle ended the day up just a fraction of a percent after having climbed as much as 3.5% above its closing level on Monday. Fundamentally, though, the specialty chemical company continued to benefit from high demand for some of its most important material products.

Historically, Albemarle has played a key role in the energy and industrial sectors. Its bromine-related products are used in applications ranging from oilfield drilling to food safety and water treatment. Its catalysts business helps refining and petrochemical companies process heavy oil and produce cleaner fuels, while also serving customers in the electronics and pharmaceutical markets.

Lately, though, investors know Albemarle best for its exposure to the lithium market. In the second quarter of 2022, Albemarle saw revenue nearly double from year-ago levels, with earnings coming close to quadrupling year over year. Although strong conditions in the bromine business provided a boost, lithium was the biggest factor, driven by high demand from the electric vehicle sector.

The trend toward EV adoption looks like it’ll take years to play out, and as long as battery technology relies on lithium, Albemarle can expect demand to remain high. That should play to Albemarle’s strengths and keep shares strong over the long run.

A big winner for Catalyst

Catalyst Pharmaceuticals climbed about 1% on Tuesday, although it had been up more than 13% earlier in the day. The company’s primary treatment has done well, and Catalyst got a vote of confidence from index managers at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Catalyst’s stock has been on the rise as sales of its Firdapse drug for treating the rare disease Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome have climbed sharply. That has put Catalyst in the enviable position of having positive cash flow, which is a rare thing for a small biopharmaceutical company and makes it possible for the company to fund development of new pipeline treatments without resorting to expensive capital-raising activities.

S&P Dow Jones Indices announced late Monday that Catalyst would become a member of the S&P SmallCap 600 index effective before the market opens on Thursday, Sept. 15. The company replaces ManTech International, which is set to go private in an acquisition that should close in the near future.

Becoming a part of a stock index doesn’t have any impact on Catalyst’s fundamental business, but it does raise awareness of the drugmaker and its prospects for further growth. Shareholders now hope that Catalyst can keep executing well and make the most of its opportunity in Firdapse while also adding more approved drugs to its product lineup in the years to come.

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


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