Stocks closed mixed on Friday following a significant drop in the S&P 500 index the previous day. The decline on Thursday, the worst since March, was prompted by signals from the Federal Reserve indicating a possibility of higher interest rates for a longer period. On Friday, Ford saw a 2.8% rise, while General Motors slipped by 0.4% and Stellantis increased by 0.3%. The United Auto Workers expanded its strike to 38 distribution facilities for General Motors and Stellantis, with a more limited work disruption at Ford, which has made progress in negotiations with the union, according to the UAW.
In other news, Microsoft’s $75 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard is nearing clearance after the UK’s antitrust authority stated that a restructured deal has substantially addressed its concerns regarding cloud gaming. Microsoft shares dropped by 0.6%, while Activision’s shares rose by 1.7%. Alibaba’s American depositary receipts saw a 4.8% increase, JD.com gained 2.3%, and PDD Holdings rose by 4.2%. A Bloomberg report suggested that China is considering relaxing rules that limit foreign ownership in domestic publicly traded companies.
Squarespace experienced a 4.7% increase in its share price to reach $28.78 after being initiated with a Buy rating at UBS and a $40 price target. However, Scholastic saw a 14% decline in its shares after reporting an adjusted loss in the first quarter of $2.20 per share, exceeding analysts’ estimates of a loss of $1.35. Revenue also fell from $262.9 million to $228.5 million, missing forecasts of $268.8 million. Scholastic explained that it usually reports a loss in the first quarter when schools are not in session.
Biotech company Seagen witnessed a 3.5% increase in its shares after announcing positive results from a Phase 3 trial for a bladder cancer treatment combination. United States Steel rose by 2.1% following a report that Stelco Holdings, Canada’s largest steelmaker, was pursuing a bid for the American steel producer. U.S. Steel had rejected a takeover offer from Cleveland-Cliffs in mid-August.
Deere fell by 2% after being downgraded from Buy to Hold by Canaccord, a leading financial services company. Vietnamese electric-vehicle maker VinFast Auto reported a second-quarter loss of $526.7 million, which was 8% narrower compared to the same period the previous year. The company delivered 9,535 vehicles in the second quarter, a significant increase from the 1,789 delivered in the same quarter the previous year. However, the stock declined by 0.8%. Lastly, Amazon.com witnessed a 0.3% rise after announcing its plan to incorporate advertising on Prime Video in the coming year.
Overall, the mixed performance of stocks on Friday reflected the market’s reaction to the Federal Reserve’s signals of potentially higher interest rates. The various movements in individual company stocks were driven by specific developments, acquisitions, reports, and market trends. Investors will continue to monitor these factors closely in the coming weeks.