SUPERVALU INC. (SVU), AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (AZN): Whoa! What Just Happened to My Stock?

Supervalu Inc (SVU)The EU’s decision to seize the bank accounts of ordinary Cypriot depositors was front and center again as concerns that the financial sector could come under tremendous pressure should the crisis ripple out from the island caused the Dow Jones Industrial Average 2 Minute (Dow Jones Indices:.DJI) to fall by 90 points yesterday. With Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase wobbling, the index pulled back from its recent high.

The three stocks below, however, were far removed from the scene of international intrigue rising on their own merits. Yet resist the urge to high-five everyone in the cubicles next to you. Smart investors won’t celebrate until they know why their stock surged, because without a fundamental basis for the bounce, these stocks could just as quickly make the return trip down.

Company % Gain
ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ACAD) 23.9%
Denison Mines Corp (USA) (NYSEMKT:DNN) 9.5%

Psychoanalyzing growth
Psych! Drug developer Acadia Pharmaceuticals said its drug pimavanserin met a series of secondary end points in a phase 3 clinical trial following previously reported results that it met its primary end point. The potential for FDA approval of what could become a first-in-class treatment has markedly improved and investors responded accordingly.

Pimavanserin is designed to treat psychosis in patients with Parkinson’s disease, a debilitating disorder that develops in up to 60% of Parkinson’s patients but for which there are no drugs currently approved in the U.S. to specifically treat it. Because there’s also the very real possibility it could be used to treat a similar disorder in patients suffering from schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease — and for which Acadia has the drug in phase 2 trials — this could be a huge winner for the pharmaceutical.

Of course, should it make it through the FDA’s regulatory gauntlet it will have to compete with various anti-psychotic drugs like AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN)‘s Seroquel, Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE:LLY)‘s Zyprexa, Risperdal from Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), and generic clozapine — all of which doctors prescribe off-label — but a drug specifically approved to treat the disorder just might gain a lot of traction .

Clean up in aisle 3!
Because it already owned 655 Albertsons stores from when SUPERVALU INC. (NYSE:SVU) acquired the chain in 2006, Cerberus Capital Management was always the lead bidder to acquire the chain when it was put up for sale, but it was also out front because it was willing to accept the all the brands that the supermarket operator was selling as opposed to cherry-picking the ones it wanted.