It has been a bit of a rollercoaster for the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) today. In early trading it was close to making a nine-month high, but it has now dropped back and sits up by 0.3% at 5,387 points.

It would almost certainly have been lower had the energy and materials sectors not been firing on full cylinders today. These two sectors are up around 2.5% and 2%, respectively.

Doing some of the heavy lifting have been four shares in particular. Here’s why they have been jumping higher today:

BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) shares are up almost 3% today to $19.43. Today’s gain is a result of the price of crude oil breaking through the $US50 per barrel mark at long last. Just a few months ago it was fetching just US$30 per barrel, so this is quite a turnaround for oil prices. As you might expect, BHP Billiton is not alone in posting gains because of this. Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) and Origin Energy Ltd (ASX: ORG) have also climbed higher today on the news.

BHP Billiton’s share price is still down by almost 35% in the last 12 months.

Boral Limited (ASX: BLD) shareholders will be delighted to see its share price reach a new five-year high of $6.99 after climbing almost 2.5% today. Although it has dropped back a touch now, it still looks set finish around 2% higher today. Its shares have been climbing higher since the building products maker reaffirmed its full-year guidance yesterday. Management advised that it expects strong results with underlying earnings before interest and tax to be marginally above last year’s earnings.

Boral’s shareholders will be pleased to have seen its share price climb by 18% so far in 2016.

Orocobre Limited (ASX: ORE) shares have continued their incredible ascent with a gain of over 5% to $4.10 today. Orocobre is one of a number of lithium producers that investors are betting will benefit from the predicted strong demand for lithium batteries in the future. With these batteries being used in Tesla and other manufacturer’s electric cars, it is clear to see why investors are fighting to get a piece of the action.

Orocobre’s share price is up by almost 80% now this year alone.

Thorn Group Ltd (ASX: TGA) has climbed higher today by almost 4% to $1.50, despite the company reporting a 34% drop in full-year net profit after tax to $20.1 million. I would imagine investors were able to look past a reasonably average full-year report due to Thorn Group maintaining its 8% dividend. At just under 7x earnings the shares do look incredibly cheap but, as this article explains, the company has been under investigation by ASIC and could face penalties.

Thorn Group’s share price is still down 31% in 2016 despite today’s gains.

If you missed out on these gains today, don't worry. These three shares could be next in line to post huge gains this year in my opinion. Not only that, I expect they will also pay fantastic dividends.

New Potentially Life-Changing Share Picks Just Released

The Motley Fool's renowned dividend investing guru recently revealed his newest dividend buy recommendation and short list of 3 Best Dividend Buys Now. Which means if you're reading this message right now, you're not on the list to uncover their names before they potentially go gangbusters. Simply click here to learn more about these shares.

HOT OFF THE PRESSES: Motley Fool’s #1 Dividend Pick for 2017!

With its shares up 155% in just the last five years, this ‘under the radar’ consumer favourite is both a hot growth stock AND our expert’s #1 dividend pick for 2017. Now we’re pulling back the curtain for you... And all you have to do to discover the name, code and a full analysis is enter your email below!

Simply enter your email now to receive your copy of our brand-new FREE report, “The Motley Fool’s Top Dividend Stock for 2017.”

By clicking this button, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. We will use your email address only to keep you informed about updates to our website and about other products and services we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe from Take Stock at anytime. Please refer to our https://www.fool.com.au/financial-services-guide">Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. 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.