(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 edged higher on Friday, putting the S&P 500 on track for its biggest weekly climb in two months, after U.S. growth data boosted investor confidence that the economy can support a wind-down of Federal Reserve stimulus. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.40 percent at 16,243.14, the S&P 500 was up 0.40 percent at 1,816.87 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.50 percent at 4,078.432.
** BLACKBERRY LTD, $6.16, -1.44 pct
The smartphone maker, which gave up on a plan to sell itself last month, reported a massive quarterly loss, as sales of its smartphones shriveled and it booked asset impairment charges and inventory writedowns.
The company also announced a five-year partnership with Foxconn Technology Co Ltd to develop and manufacture a handset for Indonesia and other emerging markets.
** ORACLE CORP, $36.54, -0.16 pct
Oracle said it would buy Responsys Inc in a deal valued at $1.5 billion as the world’s No. 2 software maker beefs up its cloud offerings.
** WALGREEN CO, $57.28, +0.60 pct
The largest U.S. drugstore operator reported higher quarterly sales, but an increase in promotions and a slowdown in the introduction of higher-profit generic drugs cut into its gross profit margin.
** MIMEDX GROUP INC, $7.97, +2.84 pct
Canaccord Genuity raised its price target on the company’s stock to $12 from $8, citing the opportunity arising from MiMedx’s distribution agreement with Medtronic Inc signed in October.
The brokerage also said MiMedx, which sells human-tissue derived products to help in wound care and spine repair, was one of its top growth picks for 2014.
** CARMAX INC, $49, -7.63 pct
The largest U.S. used car retailer reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit and said credit terms tightened late in the third quarter. Easier lending standards encouraged people to buy more cars this year.
** CARNIVAL CORP, $38.71, +1.73 pct
At least two brokerages raised their ratings on the cruise operator’s stock after the company reported better-than-expected quarterly results and said revenue yields, which blend ticket sales and money spent onboard, fell 2.1 percent in the quarter instead of the 3-4 percent drop estimated earlier.
UBS upgraded the stock to “buy” from “neutral,” while Credit Suisse raised its rating to “outperform” from “neutral.”
** NAVISTAR INTERNATIONAL CORP, $37.16, -5.83 pct
The truck and engine maker reported a 13.5 percent drop in quarterly sales, hurt by weak demand across businesses and market share losses as it moves to a new emission technology.
** CHIMERA INVESTMENT CORP, $3.19, +2.24 pct
The real estate investment trust declared a special common stock cash dividend of 20 cents per share, to be paid to common shareholders on Jan. 31, 2014.
** WESTERN ASSET MORTGAGE CAPITAL CORP, $16.7, +4.90 pct
The REIT declared a fourth-quarter dividend of $2.35 for each common share, payable in a combination of cash and stock to common shareholders of record as of Dec. 30.
** FINISH LINE INC, $27.2225, +4.14 pct
The footwear retailer said it now expected full-year same-store sales to grow 3-4 percent. The company had earlier estimated a low-single digit percentage rise.
Finish Line also said it expected full-year adjusted earnings to rise 9 percent to $1.60-$1.65 per share. The company had earlier estimated a mid-single-digit increase.
Analysts on average were expecting earnings of $1.59 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** TIBCO SOFTWARE, $21.07, -13.93 pct
UBS Equities lowered its rating on the business software maker’s stock to “neutral” from “buy,” according to Theflyonthewall.com.
Susquehanna Financial Group cut its price target on Tibco’s stock, citing lower-than-expected revenue from the company’s license business in the fourth quarter and weakness in its European business.
** RED HAT INC, $57.15, +16.63 pct
The world’s largest commercial distributor of the Linux operating system reported third-quarter results above analysts’ estimates, helped by higher growth in billings, and it raised its full-year forecast.
** DEALERTRACK TECHNOLOGIES INC, $48.65, +13.67 pct
The company said it would buy automotive website Dealer.com from private equity firm Apax Partners in a deal valued at about $1 billion.
** MGIC INVESTMENT CORP, $8.4, +2.82 pct
Compass Point raised its rating on the mortgage insurer’s stock to “buy” from “neutral.” The brokerage also raised its price target to $10 from $6.50.
“We upgrade MGIC due to expected improvement in legacy credit books, modest market share growth and the look through to run rate earnings,” analyst Jason Stewart wrote in a note.
** PEABODY ENERGY CORP, $18.62, -2.67 pct
The coal miner estimated its 2013 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) would be $60 million-$80 million lower than its prior forecast of $1.07 billion-$1.15 billion due to delays in commissioning a new mining system at its North Goonyella mine as well as labor problems at its Metropolitan mine. Both mines produce metallurgical, or steel-making, coal for export.
** AMERICAN VANGUARD CORP, $22.6, -3.95 pct
The chemical maker said it expected sales to fall 30 percent and net earnings to be flat in the fourth quarter due to adverse weather conditions in the midwestern United States. A shortened planting period in the corn and cotton markets and a reduction in planted acres resulted in surplus inventory because of reduced use of the company’s products.
** JAZZ PHARMACEUTICALS PLC, $121.17, +5.62 pct
** GENTIUM, $57.08, +2.57 pct
Ireland-based Jazz Pharmaceuticals said it would buy Italian biotech company Gentium for about $1 billion to get access to its lead product candidate, Defitelio, a drug used for the treatment of a rare liver condition.
** INTERDIGITAL INC, $29.8, -6.88 pct
The U.S. International Trade Commission found that Huawei Technologies, Nokia Corp and ZTE Corp did not infringe cell phone patents owned by wireless research and development company InterDigital. InterDigital had accused the companies of violating seven patents used to make 3G wireless devices.
** JONES GROUP INC, $14.8, +4.74 pct
The group said on Thursday it had agreed to be bought by Sycamore Partners for $15 per share, or $1.2 billion, the latest purchase of a fashion company by the private equity firm.
** BIOCRYST PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $7.05, +1.29 pct
The company filed an application with the U.S. health regulator to market its experimental drug, Peramivir, for the treatment of acute influenza in adults. Peramivir is already in use in Japan and Korea for the condition, Biocryst said.
“BioCryst is preparing to make peramivir available in the U.S. in time for the 2014-15 influenza season, in the event approval is received in that timeframe,” Chief Executive Jon Stonehouse said in a statement.
** AMTRUST FINANCIAL SERVICES INC, $30.03, +1.76 pct
One of Amtrust’s directors, Karfunkel Leah, bought 500,000 shares of the company at $30.25 per share, the property and casualty insurer said in a regulatory filing.
** AMARIN CORP PLC, $1.91, +20.13 pct
The company said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has informed the company that it would delay a decision on approval of a blood fat-lowering drug for use in a broader patient population.
** MELCO CROWN ENTERTAINMENT, $37.41, -2.32 pct
The company said its MCE Leisure (Philippines) Corp unit priced an offering of about $340 million of 5 percent senior notes due 2019 at 100 percent of par.
The unit plans to use the proceeds for capital expenditure and to refinance debt.
** OVERSTOCK.COM INC, $29.82, +2.47 pct
The ecommerce site plans to be the first major United States retailer to accept the digital currency bitcoin, according to a report in the Financial Times. Overstock’s chief executive Patrick Byrne told the FT in an interview that his company could start accepting the currency next year. (Compiled by Neha Dimri in Bangalore; Edited by Kirti Pandey)