The Week's Top Stories is a guided tour through the biggest market stories of the week, from winning stocks to brutal dips to the facts and forecasts generating buzz on Wall Street.
MICROSOFT: YOU'VE WON!
After nearly two years of jockeying to win approval from regulators, Microsoft closed the deal to buy Activision Blizzard. The $69 billion deal means Microsoft now heads up the gaming division known for legendary games like Call of Duty, Diablo, and Overwatch. The deal finally went through Friday, just hours after British regulators approved plans that will purportedly help Microsoft avoid anti-trust concerns. Stock-wise, Microsoft ended the week up less than 1 percent.
SLEEK SONY PLAYSTATION
Speaking of gaming, Sony stock got a jump this week when it revealed its newest PlayStation, a slim new model - the first big upgrade since 2020. It's expected to hit store shelves November 10, just in time for the holidays. If you remember, the PS5 was the hottest item of the season when it first launched, so investors are hopeful this will reinvigorate the brand. The company also announced the new Access controller, meant to make gaming more accessible for people with disabilities. The stock closed the week up 3 percent.
DOLLAR GENERAL'S GENERAL
Wall Street cheered Friday on news that Todd Vasos, former CEO of Dollar General, will be returning to head up the discount chain. The company has had a rough year, with labor and safety concerns, earnings misses, and a stock that has plummeted 60 percent in 2023. Vasos has barely been gone a year, but during the seven years he served as CEO, the chain opened thousand of stores and increased its annual sales revenue by 80 percent. Dollar General closed the week up nearly 8 percent, with most of that coming after Friday's announcement.
There was good holiday news from Delta Airlines, too. The company reported strong bookings for the end of the year and announced it made $1.11 billion in profits last quarter. If you traveled this summer, you know flights were backed and international flights were especially strong for the airline. The stock wasn't quite as popular this week, closing down nearly 5 percent.
Birkenstock, the maker of comfy sandals and other footwear, marched on over to Wall Street this week and listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The IPO priced at $46, but sank about 10 percent on opening day. The stock closed down about 3 percent by Friday. (Note: The writer of this column is typing away in her beloved Birkenstocks.)
NEW WALGREENS CEO
Walgreens Boots Alliance announced that Tim Wentworth will be taking over as CEO. In his prior gig, Wentworth headed up Express Scripts, a pharmacy benefit management company. He's filling the seat that opened up when Rosalind Brewer stepped down last month after less than three years at the helm. It was a tough week to take over: the stock dropped on Wednesday on a poor outlook and pharmacy staffers walked out over complaints that they are over worked as the pharmacies are short-staffed. Investors are jazzed about new management and boosted the stock nearly 7 percent this week.