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Oracle, Snowflake, SoftBank: Stocks That Defined the Week -- WSJ

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09/19/2020 | 02:48am EDT

By Francesca Fontana andDerek Hall

Oracle Corp.

Oracle won the bidding for TikTok's U.S. operations, beating out Microsoft Corp., but more hurdles are ahead. President Trump said on Wednesday that he wasn't prepared to sign off on a deal that could also award a stake to Walmart Inc. Administration officials still want American investors to hold a majority of the Chinese-owned app. Starting Sunday, the White House will also start banning use of TikTok due to national-security concerns. Oracle shares rose 4.3% Monday.

FedEx Corp.

Christmas came early for FedEx. Residential shipments surged as consumers keep shopping from home, reaching levels the delivery giant normally sees during the holiday season. Thanks to the extra cargo, FedEx on Tuesday posted the highest quarterly revenue in its history. The increasing shift to online shopping has been a boon to the FedEx Ground business, which handles shipments for store chains such as Target Corp. and Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. Now, FedEx and rival United Parcel Service Inc. are bracing for an additional torrent of packages during the holiday season, testing networks that are already strained. FedEx shares added 5.8% Wednesday.

Kraft Heinz Co.

Kraft Heinz is shredding its ties with a large chunk of its cheese business. The food maker said Tuesday that it had reached a deal to sell a portion of its cheese brands to France's Groupe Lactalis SA for $3.2 billion. The deal comes as some food companies struggle to keep up with unprecedented demand for groceries during the pandemic. The sale will include Kraft shredded and blocks of cheese and the Cracker Barrel brand in the U.S. Kraft Heinz will keep Philadelphia cream cheese, Velveeta, Cheez Whiz and Kraft Singles in the U.S, along with its macaroni-and-cheese business world-wide. Kraft Heinz shares added 0.3% Tuesday.

Hershey Co.

Hershey wants to save Halloween from the real-life scare of Covid-19. The candy maker is offering tips on trick-or-treating safety to protect sales during its biggest holiday. The site, Halloween2020.org, maps Covid-19 risk level by county and offers suggestions, like masked trick-or-treating in low-risk areas and at-home Halloween candy hunts in high-risk areas. The coronavirus pandemic didn't bolster demand for sweets like it did for staples like cereal and soup, making the upcoming holidays even more important. Hershey also introduced its Halloween offerings earlier than usual in the hopes of selling more, and produced less themed candy to avoid having tons of discounted leftovers. Hershey shares fell 0.7% Monday.

Snowflake Inc.

Snowflake didn't melt on its opening day. Shares of the data-warehousing company more than doubled in value on Wednesday, further stoking enthusiasm for initial public offerings in 2020. The IPO market is on pace for a banner year as investors search for higher returns with interest rates at historically low levels and the Federal Reserve pumping trillions of dollars into the economy. Snowflake's stock, the biggest tech issue of the year so far, took longer than any traditional IPO in modern history to pair up orders and begin trading. Its shares closed up 111% from its IPO price on Wednesday.

Facebook Inc.

Facebook isn't generating any "likes" from antitrust authorities. The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the Federal Trade Commission is gearing up to file a possible antitrust lawsuit against the company by the end of the year, following more than a year investigating concerns that Facebook has been using its powerful market position to stifle competition. The inquiry is part of a broader effort to examine the conduct of a handful of dominant tech companies. No final decision had been made as of Tuesday whether to sue Facebook, and the commission doesn't always bring cases even when it is making preparations to do so. Facebook shares fell 3.3% Wednesday.

SoftBank Group Corp.

SoftBank is on a selling spree. The Japanese tech-investment conglomerate said on Friday that it was selling U.S.-based wireless-services unitBrightstar Corp. to a private-equity firm founded by a former Brightstar executive. This deal came on the heels of its sale of semiconductor company Arm Holdings to graphics-chip giant Nvidia Corp. for $40 billion. SoftBank's string of divestitures began in March, after a series of stumbles in its $100 billion venture-capital pool, the Vision Fund. The losses, coupled with the overall rout in markets, drove Chief Executive Masayoshi Son to announce $42 billion in asset sales to fund share buybacks and debt redemptions. American depositary shares of SoftBank lost 2.2% Friday.

Write to Francesca Fontana at francesca.fontana@wsj.com


Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
CHEESE FUTURES (CSC) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 -0.22% 2.28 End-of-day quote.11.63%
FACEBOOK INC 4.17% 278.73 Delayed Quote.35.80%
FEDEX CORPORATION -1.78% 282.28 Delayed Quote.86.68%
MICROSOFT CORPORATION 0.07% 214.8 Delayed Quote.36.11%
NVIDIA CORPORATION -0.88% 540.99 Delayed Quote.129.92%
ORACLE CORPORATION -0.13% 59.67 Delayed Quote.12.63%
SNOWFLAKE INC. 7.48% 270.61 Delayed Quote.0.00%
SOFTBANK CORP. 1.07% 1226 End-of-day quote.-16.00%
SOFTBANK GROUP CORP. -0.71% 7089 End-of-day quote.49.05%
TARGET CORPORATION -0.96% 163.29 Delayed Quote.27.36%
THE HERSHEY COMPANY -0.89% 145.58 Delayed Quote.-0.95%
THE KRAFT HEINZ COMPANY -1.72% 31.44 Delayed Quote.-2.15%
WALMART INC. 0.35% 144.4 Delayed Quote.21.51%
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