It was a roller coaster ride for investors this week on Wall Street, but US stocks managed to end the week posting a gain for the first time in 2008.
An interest-rate reduction, and apparent Congressional agreement on an economic stimulus package, helped shares rebound from their poor start.
Technology sticks in the S&P 500 declined for a fifth consecutive week, but two of the main players in the videogame industry had only good news to report.
Nintendo announced that its profit for the nine months ending December 31 had nearly doubled, with sales of the Wii rising 85 per cent. The company raised sales forecasts for the full year ending in March.
Microsoft reported record Q2 revenues, exceeding analyst expectations. The games division posted a profit, with revenue rising 3.1 per cent - surprising even Microsoft, who had forecast an 8 per cent decline. It, too, raised forecasts for the full fiscal year.
While not reporting earnings, both Take-Two and THQ reported news that had a significant effect on their shares.
Take-Two's stock value increased after the company set a release date - April 29 - for its highly-anticipated GTA IV. The company alleviated concerns that its programmers were having difficulties - concerns that arose last year after the game was delayed.
THQ, meanwhile, announced the closure of a studio, the cancellation of a handful of titles in development and the decision not to pursue two underperforming franchises - Juiced and Stuntman.
Although analysts maintained confidence as the company lowered its financial estimates, the stock price declined some 21.8% from the close of last week. The company will report its Q3 earnings on February 5.
Selected stock movements in the past week (at time of writing):
|Ubisoft||56.16 - 60.30||+7.4%|
|Take-Two||14.71 - 15.65||+6.4%|
|Sega||11.93 - 12.2||+2.3%|
|Nintendo||553.00 - 558.00||+0.9%|
|Microsoft||33.01 - 32.94||-0.2%|
|EA||49.42 - 47.22||-4.5%|
|Konami||29.47 - 27.42||-7.0%|
|Midway||2.29 - 2.11||-7.9%|
|Sony||51.44 - 46.69||-9.2%|
|SCi||73.25 - 61.75||-15.7%|
|THQ||24.76 - 19.37||-21.8%|
Please note that stock prices on differing markets may be influenced by separate local events, and shouldn't necessarily be compared like for like. This list is not a ranking of total market valuation; selected stocks only. Prices given in local exchange currency, except Tokyo stocks, which are converted into USD.