The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) broke the recent downtrend to end up 0.9% today. However, Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST), BC Iron Limited (ASX: BCI), SKYCITY Entertainment Group Ltd (ASX: SKC) and G8 Education Ltd (ASX: GEM) trumped the market’s return.

SkyCity – up 7.7%

Shares of gaming and entertainment business, SkyCity, rocketed higher today after the company upped its half-year profit growth expectations to between 25% and 29% higher than last year’s results. The company attributed the result to strong trading performances in New Zealand, good turnover from the international business and cost savings from the Adelaide casino.

Northern Star Resources – up 5%

Despite a modest fall in the gold price overnight, shares in the $1.7 billion Northern Star Resources rocketed 5% higher today. The company’s share price has been volatile in 2016, but is already up 10% compared to the ASX’s return of negative 8%, after China’s economic uncertainty swept across the globe. Gold is perceived as a hedge to uncertainty.

G8 Education – up 4%

Australia’s largest listed childcare centre owner and operator, G8 Education, jumped 4% higher after the company announced it paid down SGD155 million of bank debt earlier than expected. After the company failed to acquire rival Affinity Education Group last year, G8 was left with excess funds which it has now used to pay down debt ahead of schedule.

BC Iron Limited – up 6.4%

Shares of junior iron ore miner, BC Iron, have fallen over 84% in the past 12 months as the iron ore price continues to fall sharply in the face of market oversupply. Following the 6.4% bounce today, BC Iron shares are priced at 8.3 cents – down from 60 cents one year ago and over $5 in 2014.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Owen Raszkiewicz has a financial interest in G8 Education. Owen welcomes your feedback on Google+, LinkedIn or you can follow him on Twitter @ASXinvest.

Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.