(For more market insights, including options activity, click on ; for the Day Ahead newsletter link.reuters.com/mex49s; for the Morning News Call newsletter, link.reuters.com/nex49s) U.S stocks were little changed at the open on Thursday as the market digested mixed data that showed a rise in weekly jobless claims and stronger-than-expected retail sales for November. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.51 percent at 15,762.68, the S&P 500 was down 0.26 percent at 1,777.65 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.08 percent at 4,000.659.
** FACEBOOK INC, $51.0464, +3.37 pct
** WILLIAMS COS, $34.2, -0.41 pct
Standard & Poor’s said on Wednesday Facebook will join its S&P 500 stock index after the close of trading on Dec. 20, cementing the social media network’s rise into one of the biggest, most powerful U.S. companies.
Facebook will also replace Williams Cos in the S&P 100 index of large U.S. companies. Williams will remain in the S&P 500.
** CISCO SYSTEMS INC, $20.34, -2.59 pct
The world’s top network equipment maker’s Chief Executive John Chambers said on Thursday he is beginning to see the U.S. market recover but cited challenges in emerging market economies such as Russia and Brazil.
** APPLE INC, $562.32, +0.17 pct
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd on Thursday lost its bid to ban sales of Apple’s older iPhone and iPad in South Korea after a court dismissed a lawsuit claiming the U.S. firm had infringed on three of Samsung’s mobile patents.
Separately the iPhone maker on Thursday said it sent medical experts to contractor Pegatron Corp’s Shanghai factory last month after a 15-year-old employee died of pneumonia.
** ARC GROUP WORLDWIDE INC, $25, +13.28 pct
The company, which makes precision components using molding technology, said it has formed a new 3D Material Technologies LLC unit. The unit will use 3D printing technology to make prototypes and customized parts.
** UNS ENERGY CORP, $58.48, +28.80 pct
Fortis Inc has reached a friendly deal to buy Arizona-focused utility UNS Energy for about $2.5 billion in cash, the Canadian power company said on Wednesday, as it looks to expand its presence in the United States.
** LULULEMON ATHLETICA INC, $61.19, -10.48 pct
The Canadian yogawear chain, which appointed a new chief executive this week, said on Thursday it expects flat same-store sales in the crucial fourth quarter even as it reported third-quarter earnings that beat expectations.
** SIGMA DESIGNS INC, $4.365, -18.41 pct
The company, which makes chips for set-top boxes, reported lower-than-expected third-quarter results on Wednesday.
Needham cut its rating on the stock to “buy” from “hold”, saying the falling demand in the company’s business that makes chips for transferring IP content over cables or phone wires will pressure revenue till the second half of fiscal 2015. The brokerage also removed its $6 price target.
** SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO, $18.58, +3.39 pct
Bank of America Merrill Lynch raised its rating on the airline operator to “buy”, according to Benzinga.com.
** SYNTA PHARMACEUTICALS CORP, $4.76, +2.37 pct
The company said its lead experimental drug, ganetespib, showed positive interim results in advanced breast cancer patients in a mid-stage study.
“The clinical activity, which includes a complete clinical response as well as a complete radiological response, illustrates the exciting potential for ganetespib in breast cancer, and the rationale for exploring ganetespib in a broader spectrum of disease stages and combinations,” trial investigator Neil Spector said in a statement.
** VIOLIN MEMORY INC, $2.7, -12.34 pct
The enterprise flash storage maker's Chief Technology Officer, Jonathan Goldrick, has left the company, according to a Business Insider report. (r.reuters.com/kuh45v)
The company’s stock has more than halved since the company went public in September.
** ARAMARK HOLDINGS CORP, $21.64, +8.20 pct
Shares of the food services provider rose 3 percent in their market debut, valuing the company at about $4.75 billion.
** SUNEDISON INC, $11.818, -7.60 pct
The solar company on Wednesday cut it sales forecast to $905-$915 million, from $920-$930 million as it plans to keep more solar plants on its balance sheet rather than selling them.
The company, which is planning to spin off some plants and take them public next year, expects to sell about 380-405 megawatts (MW) of solar projects this year, lower than its earlier forecast of 405-435 MW.
** EMBRAER SA, $30.88, +2.32 pct
** AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC, $26.2701, +1.08 pct
American Airlines ordered 60 regional jets in a deal worth $2.5 billion at list prices from Embraer SA, the world’s third-largest commercial planemaker.
Separately Canadian train and airline manufacturer Bombardier Inc also said American Airlines had agreed to buy 30 of its CRJ900 NextGen planes and taken options on an additional 40 aircraft. Based on list prices, the firm order contract was worth about $1.42 billion.
** CIENA CORP, $21.81, -4.76 pct
The network equipment maker reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit as costs rose 20 percent and forecast current-quarter revenue largely below Wall Street estimates.
** ATHENAHEALTH INC, $123.85, -5.35 pct
The company said it expects 2014 earnings of $0.98-$1.10 per share on sales of $725-$755 million, both of which were well below analysts’ estimates.
Analysts on average are expecting a profit of $1.38 per share on revenue of $765.3 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** TAMINCO CORP, $19.2, -7.87 pct
The chemical maker said its secondary offering of 10 million shares was priced at $20 per share, a 4 percent discount to Wednesday’s close.
** VERA BRADLEY INC, $23.36, +2.64 pct
The handbag and accessories retailer on Wednesday forecast current-quarter results below analysts’ estimates, citing a persistently challenging retail environment.
At least two brokerages cut their price targets on the company’s stock on Thursday.
** EXELIS INC, $18.98, +8.77 pct
The U.S. arms maker, which was spun off from ITT Corp in late 2011, on Wednesday said it would now spin off its military and government services business, creating a new independent firm with revenues of about $1.5 billion, and focusing the remaining portfolio on higher margin sectors.
** PROTHENA CORP, $27.915, +1.92 pct
Roche has raised it bet on medicines for the human brain by signing a deal with Ireland’s Prothena worth up to $600 million to develop and commercialize a treatment for Parkinson’s disease.
** IAMGOLD CORP, $3.58, -6.77 pct
The Canadian gold miner on Wednesday suspended dividend payments to reduce costs by $100 million in 2013 and said it would look for further cuts in 2014 due to the fall in gold prices.
** STAR GAS PARTNERS LP, $5.46, +0.37 pct
The home heating oil and propane distributor on Wednesday reported a higher quarterly loss, mainly due to a fall in the value of derivative instruments.
** SUPERTEL HOSPITALITY INC, $2.9, -27.50 pct
The real estate investment trust said it suspended dividend payments on its outstanding preferred stock to preserve capital and improve liquidity.
** ALLIANCE DATA SYSTEMS INC, $245.03, +0.55 pct
** MOHAWK INDUSTRIES INC, $140.29, +0.55 pct
** ABERCROMBIE & FITCH CO, $33.26, -0.03 pct
** JDS UNIPHASE CORP, $12.04, -1.15 pct
** TERADYNE INC, $16.48, -2.14 pct
** SCHOLASTIC CORP, $27.95, -0.85 pct
** LINCOLN EDUCATION SERVICES CORP, $4.5, -7.02 pct
Standard & Poor’s said on Wednesday it will add marketing solutions company Alliance Data Systems and floor covering company Mohawk Industries to its S&P 500 stock index, and remove Abercrombie & Fitch, JDS Uniphase and Teradyne.
Scholastic will replace Lincoln Education in the S&P SmallCap 600.
** HILTON WORLDWIDE INC, $21.39, +6.95 pct
** BLACKSTONE GROUP LP, $28.94, -0.72 pct
Hotel operator Hilton raised $2.34 billion in its IPO on Wednesday, returning to the public markets some six years after Blackstone took it private in one of the largest deals of the leveraged buyout boom.
Hilton, whose brands include such high-end names as Conrad and Waldorf Astoria, priced its shares at $20, within the expected range, and gave the world’s largest hotel operator an equity value of $19.7 billion.
The stock will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday under the ticker symbol “HLT.”