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Stocks in focus: Microsoft, Activision-Blizzard, Chinese stocks, GameStop, Ciena Corporation

Yahoo Finance's Jared Blikre highlights which stocks are making moves at the end of the trading session on Thursday.

Video transcript


- All right, let's give it over to Jared Blikre, who has some of the top movers of the day. Jared, who is on the move?

JARED BLIKRE: Well, we're looking at the tech sector first. And guess what? Microsoft is one of the stocks in focus here on the deal with Activision Blizzard, and that's despite antitrust rumblings against Microsoft. We touched on the story at the top of the show where the Federal Trade Commission, looking to block Microsoft from buying Activision Blizzard, a move that would make Mr. Softee the number three gaming company, and that is right after Tencent.

Now, just taking a look here-- Microsoft up 1%, Activision Blizzard down 1 and 1/2%. This is a two-year chart, and you can see that M&A premium getting built in right here and getting slowly sucked out-- got some more commentary on that in a second, but want to move on to China because guess what?

Chinese stocks surging to three-month highs as the government eases COVID restrictions there-- KraneShares' China Internet ETF ticker KWEB, that is up over 80% from the mid-October lows, and just look at some of these names.

I'll show you what's been happening on a trailing one-month basis, and that's where these numbers get truly eye-popping-- Baba up 38%, Pinduoduo up 44 and 1/2%, Baidu up 41%. But when you take a look at how far they are still off their 52-week highs, you can see a lot of these names have substantial work to do.

And now we got to move on to the meme stock craze. We were talking about GameStop earnings yesterday after the bell. And guess what? They disappointed. Nevertheless, GameStop is up 11 and 1/2%-- strongest day in months. And that's after reporting net sales for the third quarter that came in shy of analysts' expectations as well as posting a wider loss than expected-- so that is worse-- and answering a grand total of 0 questions on the call, as is tradition at Matt Furlong's GameStop.

Now, Wedbush lowered its price target to $5.30 from $6, withdrawing any prior perceived value in its, quote, "moribund NFT marketplace." Well, enough said on GameStop.

Finally, we're gonna leave things on an earnings note, and that is gonna be with Ciena. Now, this company is having its best day in three years, popping above its 200-day moving average and getting it done on the right side of that average. That's after the company that specializes in optical networking solutions blew past analysts' expectations for profits and sales in the fourth quarter-- fourth quarter.

And it's on those results that JPMorgan is saying that they're much stronger than expected as, quote, "supply turned out to be favorable rather than a tailwind," so, finally, getting some supply chain stories going in the right way, guys.

- All right, Jared. Let's go back to the top mover that you were talking about when it comes to Microsoft and Activision. We have Microsoft gaining today-- Activision under a bit of pressure.

The FTC's argument all boils down to competition, like you said, in one of the statements from the director of FTC's Bureau of Competition saying that "Today, we seek to stop Microsoft from gaining control over a leading independent game studio and using it to harm competition," specifically pointing to what Microsoft did through a 2021 acquisition of ZeniMax Media-- Microsoft and Activision, though, still remaining very positive and confident that this deal will potentially go through.

JARED BLIKRE: Yeah, I think so. And analysts expect it to go through. There might be some concessions that have to be made to Sony because of PlayStation. But, look, Microsoft has Xbox, and they're probably going to make this transaction happen. It's just gonna be at a slightly reduced scale, which is probably why we're seeing that premium getting slowly sucked out of that M&A bid, as I was talking about. And you can see here on that two-year chart, guys.

- Yeah, and overall, like, that's my concern about the chilling effect on the M&A market. It's been basically quiet. It's been a--

JARED BLIKRE: Well, it's been a bad year for that.

- --ghost town. And if this isn't going to go through, if they're gonna continue to block deals, what is the further chilling effect down the road? And to your point, yes, they did have a comment. Brad Smith from Microsoft-- "We have been committed to giving peace a chance, but we have complete confidence in our case and welcome the opportunity to present in court."