Shares of Ford Motor (NYSE:F) fell 1.7 percent on Friday, despite Standard & Poor’s revising its credit outlook on the automaker to investment grade. “The North American performance has been much better than we would have anticipated,” Dan Picciotto, S&P’s primary credit analyst on General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Ford, said today in an interview with Bloomberg. “It’s hard to understate how much cost has been taken out of the North American operations before, during and after 2008 and 2009. They’re certainly in a much better cost position.” GM’s credit outlook was raised from stable to positive.
Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) shares edged slightly higher in late afternoon hours. The owner of Pizza Hut and KFC reported that same-store sales last month in China dropped 10 percent, better than the 13 percent decline in July. The company said, “KFC sales were negatively impacted by the residual effects of adverse publicity surrounding the December poultry supply incident.”
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) shares surged 3 percent on Friday and reached a fresh 52-week high at $44.61 – slightly below its all-time high of $45 when it debuted on the Nasdaq in May 2012. The social network company also received an improved price target of $48 from Pivotal Research.
Shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) recaptured the $500 level in late afternoon trading. According to the Wall Street Journal and people familiar with the matter, Apple is preparing to ship iPhones to China Mobile – the largest wireless carrier in China with 700 million subscribers.
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