These 2 stocks led the market higher on Friday

The stock market finally got the relief rally on Friday that many investors were looking forward to. Many uncertainties remain, but Wall Street has found some confidence that markets won’t simply go into freefall. At closing, earnings for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^ DJI 1.47%), S&P500 (^GSPC 2.39%)and Nasdaq Compound (^IXIC 3.82%) at least helped cushion the blow of what was yet another bad week for investors.


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Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

Thousands of actions gained traction, but a few stood out from the crowd. Robinhood Markets (HOOD 24.88%) rose sharply when an outside institutional investor known for his ties to cryptocurrency markets took a stake in the app-based broker. Meanwhile, Duolingo (DOUOL 34.02%) posted an even bigger gain after announcing its latest financial results.

This crypto innovator sees the value of Robinhood hit hard

Shares of Robinhood Markets rose nearly 25% on Friday. The move came after investors discovered interest from a leading cryptocurrency innovator.

Image source: Getty Images.

Emergent Fidelity Technologies filed a statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday evening, revealing that it had acquired about 56.3 million shares of the brokerage. This equates to a 7.6% stake in Robinhood. Emergent Fidelity is owned by Sam Bankman-Fried, who is also the CEO of crypto exchange FTX. Bankman-Fried invested around $650 million to buy Robinhood’s stock.

The filing indicates that at least for now, Bankman-Fried has no intention of taking an activist stance with respect to Robinhood’s operations. Instead, the filing simply states that Robinhood seemed like an attractive investment. Of course, that can change quickly, as investors have seen with similar filings with other companies.

Even after today’s gain, Robinhood shares are still down sharply from their IPO price less than a year ago. It will take a continued restoration of trust for Robinhood to make a full comeback.

Duolingo soars on strong adoption

Duolingo saw even bigger gains, jumping 34%. The language-learning app provider reported first-quarter financial results good enough for the company to raise its full-year guidance.

Duolingo’s numbers were solid. Total bookings increased 55% year-over-year, surpassing the $100 million mark on a 56% rise in subscription bookings. Revenue rose 47% to $81.2 million and the number of paid subscribers jumped 60% to 2.9 million. Duolingo also saw an increase in the number of people regularly using the app on an ad-based freemium model, with monthly active users up 23% to 49.2 million and daily active users up 31% to 12.5 million.

Investors were also optimistic about Duolingo’s profit potential. Although the company continued to lose money using standard accounting rules, adjusted pretax operating income rose more than 350% to $3.95 million.

Duolingo sees the good times last all year, with 2022 revenue likely to rise to between $349 million and $358 million. Even with expectations to barely break even on adjusted pretax operating income, Duolingo is generating excitement among shareholders with increased interaction with its users and the hope of continuing to drive subscription growth for the rest of this year and beyond.

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