The stock market finished the week on a quiet note on Friday, as major market benchmarks once again overcame downward pressure early in the day to finish slightly higher. The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq Composite all gained enough ground to set new all-time records. Most investors remain optimistic that favorable government policies should be a boon to the business community and believe that hiccups in the Trump administration's opening month in office will give way to smoother political operations down the road. Merger and acquisition activity also took center stage Friday, and good news on the earnings front also helped many stocks. Unilever (NYSE: UL) (NYSE: UN), DigitalGlobe (NYSE: DGI), and SunPower (NASDAQ: SPWR) were among the top performers on the day. Below, we'll look more closely at these stocks to tell you why they did so well.
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Kraft Heinz gets hungry for Unilever
Shares of Unilever climbed 14% after the European consumer goods giant got a takeover bid from Kraft Heinz (NASDAQ: KHC). Kraft Heinz offered $143 billion for Unilever, which included $30.23 per share in cash as well as 0.222 shares of the combined entity going forward, which totaled $50 per share based on stock values as of Thursday's close. Some speculate that if the merger goes through, Kraft Heinz might end up with non-food consumer goods assets that it might not want, potentially leading to a spinoff or sale of part of the business. Yet Unilever quickly rejected the offer, and those following the deal aren't certain whether Kraft Heinz would be willing to consider a higher bid or will simply walk away from the deal. Kraft Heinz shares also rose on the day, suggesting that investors thought the bid was a good idea.
Dove is one of Unilever's biggest brands. Image source: Unilever.
DigitalGlobe climbs on takeover potential
DigitalGlobe stock gained 18% in the wake of reports that the satellite-imaging provider has attracted the attention of Canadian satellite company MacDonald Dettwiler. A report from Dow Jones suggested that the value of a potential buyout could be between $2 billion and $3 billion, which compares to the roughly $1.8 to $1.9 billion market cap that DigitalGlobe fetched as of Thursday's close. MacDonald Dettwiler offers a variety of communications applications, including satellites, remote robotics, ground stations, marine and aviation information systems, and airborne surveillance. Given the breadth of the Canadian company's product and services offerings, acquiring DigitalGlobe would be an extremely good complement to MacDonald's existing business and could open up new opportunities for growth if the merger ends up happening.
Finally, SunPower gained 17%. The solar specialist recovered more ground than it had lost yesterday following its fourth-quarter financial report, in which SunPower said that it had lost more money than most had expected and given a downbeat outlook for the current quarter. The solar industry has gone through tough conditions lately, with a glut of solar panel supply taking its toll on pricing. Yet a new supply contract for a French solar company gave investors hope that SunPower will be able to optimize its current product portfolio, even as it shifts away from lower-efficiency commodity-like solar panels and emphasizes its value-added high-efficiency products. Even with the gains, though, the stock is still down by more than two-thirds from where it traded this time last year.
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