Market stock-market indexes climbed on Tuesday, reversing their losses from earlier in the day despite persistent worries surrounding U.S. trade policies and tariffs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI ) ultimately rose around 0.4%, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC ) added nearly 11 points for a similar percentage gain.
Today's stock market
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DATA SOURCE: YAHOO! FINANCE.
Oil stocks helped lead the charge higher after an attack on Libya's state-owned National Oil Corp. spurred supply concerns, leaving the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration and Production ETF (NYSEMKT: XOP) up 1.9%. Tech stocks also surged, leaving the Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund (NYSEMKT: XLK) up 0.85%.
As for individual stocks, more pronounced moves from both Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI) and Yum China (NYSE: YUMC) kept investors on their toes today.
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Activision Blizzard's new game mode
Shares of Activision Blizzard jumped 7.1% after Benchmark analyst Mike Hickey reaffirmed his buy rating and $93 price target on the video game giant. For perspective, Activision closed Tuesday at just over $79 per share.
To justify his continued bullishness, Hickey noted that the new Blackout game mode for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 -- which is meant to help it compete with the massively popular battle royale feature in Epic Games' Fortnite title -- has "greatly [exceeded] expectations," garnering almost 400,000 viewers on the Twitch game-streaming platform following its launch on PS4 beta yesterday.
"Popular Twitch Streamers were gushing on the quality and fun of the play," Hickey added, "while subscriber comments were calling Blackout a Fortnite and/or [Player Unknown Battlegrounds] killer."
As such, Hickey believes that the new mode will be a "potentially massive hit," and estimates it could generate over $500 million of incremental annual sales for Activision Blizzard.
Yum China is officially off the table
Citing "people with knowledge of the matter," Bloomberg says that the buyers' interest in striking a deal waned after their initial bid was rejected. The consortium is also concerned that "business conditions have worsened since its approach," with challenges ranging from steep competition to softening Chinese consumer spending, the negative impact of the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China, and Yum China's difficulties attracting younger diners to its KFC and Pizza Hut chains in the Middle Kingdom.
To be fair, Tuesday's drop simply brings Yum China shares back to where they traded in late July, when the stock price initially popped on news of the potential acquisition. Given the fresh concerns that have arisen since then, however, I won't be the least bit surprised if Yum China shares continue trending lower, unless the company can demonstrate those worries are unfounded.
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