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5 Top Stock Gainers for Thursday: Paychex, Virgin Galactic, Perrigo

Paychex, Virgin Galactic, Perrigo, Splunk and Lordstown Motors are five top stock gainers for Thursday.

Stocks were lower Thursday and on pace for their worst monthly performance of the year, as investors continue to navigate a series of risks linked to energy markets, China growth and U.S. fiscal policy.

Here are some of the big movers in the stock market on Thursday:

1. Paychex | Increase 4.9%

Shares of Paychex  (PAYX) - Get Paychex, Inc. Report were higher after the payroll- and HR-services company reported fiscal-first-quarter results that topped estimates. For the quarter ended Aug. 31 the Rochester, N.Y., company reported earnings of 89 cents a share. Revenue grew 16% year over year to $1.08 billion.

2. Virgin Galactic | Increase 12%

Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic  (SPCE) - Get Virgin Galactic Report took off at warp speed after the Federal Aviation Administration cleared the company to resume licensed space flights. The FAA informed Virgin Galactic that it had accepted the company's proposed corrective actions and concluded the inquiry on Aug. 11.

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3. Perrigo | Increase 11%

Shares of Perrigo  (PRGO) - Get Perrigo Co. Plc Report jumped after the drugmaker said it had settled a dispute with Irish tax officials for about $344 million. The company said it had settled with the Irish Office of the Revenue Commissioners regarding an amended assessment from Nov. 29, 2018.

4. Splunk | Increase 3.9%

Splunk  (SPLK) - Get Splunk Inc. Report shares surged after Piper Sandler analyst Rob Owens said a recent investor meeting with management "compels" his view of the data-focused cloud computing company as a top pick heading into the fourth quarter. He kept his overweight rating on the company with a $190 price target.

5. Lordstown Motors | Increase 7.6%

Shares of Lordstown Motors  (RIDE) - Get LORDSTOWN MOTORS CORP. Report revved up following a report that said the electric vehicle startup will announce the sale of the northeast Ohio assembly plant it acquired from General Motors  (GM) - Get General Motors Company (GM) Report to Taiwan contract manufacturer Foxconn.