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The Week's Top Stories: Off Target, Amazon Splits & China Tech Rollercoaster

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.

AMAZON STOCK SPLIT

After years of shares trading well above $1,000, Amazon has completed a 20-to-1 stock split in a bid to attract average investors. Shares gained 2 percent on the news when markets opened Monday, though AMZN struggled overall this week, as tech stocks took another beating amid the general downturn. The hope is that the cheaper stock will eventually draw in retail investors, who could help bolster sentiment around the company. We'll see if that happens. In the meantime, Amazon is down 12.5 percent for the week and is selling for around $110 per share.

CHINESE TECH STOCKS UP (AND DOWN)

Shares of Chinese ridesharing giant Didi surged 24 percent following a Wall Street Journal report that Chinese regulatory authorities were ending their probe into the company. The probe began just days after Didi went public in the U.S., and its stock has been getting battered ever since. Alibaba, meanwhile, popped around 7 percent amid rumors that its long-delayed IPO was back on track. But those gains were erased when Alibaba financial affiliate Ant Group said there were no plans to revive the offering. All in all, this week was a bit of a wash for Chinese tech firms, which are just beginning to crawl out from under the shadow of a fierce government crackdown on the sector. 

JETBLUE SWEETENS DEAL

 JetBlue is positively gung-ho about acquiring discount airline Spirit. Last month, the rival airline made a hostile tender offer to Spirit shareholders after the company's board turned down its initial bid. Now JetBlue is trying to sweeten the deal by offering a $350 million breakup fee if antitrust regulators block the acquisition. That's up from the $250 million it initially offered and could help resolve one of Spirit's main concerns. Spirit has long maintained that the deal wouldn't pass the regulatory muster, which is why it's pursuing a merger with fellow discount airline Frontier instead. It's unclear if JetBlue's latest offer will push the deal over the finish line, but Spirit has postponed its upcoming shareholder meeting to talk it out. 

MORE RETAIL WOES

This week Target warned investors that its profits will likely take a hit in the coming quarter as the retailer marks down the prices of unwanted inventory in an effort to clear shelves ahead of the holidays. Basically, Target overstocked itself during the pandemic, as durable goods flew off the shelves. Now that consumers are shifting their spending back to essentials — in part due to inflation — demand for those items plummeted. While the process might be painful for Target, it does mean more deals at one of the biggest retailers in the U.S. 
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