(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 rose modestly on Friday, with the S&P 500 on track for its first two-week winning streak of the year, as investors were once again willing to overlook some soft economic data stemming from bad weather. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.54 percent at 16,114.03, the S&P 500 was up 0.30 percent at 1,835.3 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.06 percent at 4,238.242.
** AMCOL INTERNATIONAL CORP, $44.79, +8.32 pct
** MINERALS TECHNOLOGIES INC, $53.22, +0.26 pct
Minerals Technologies offered to buy minerals and materials group AMCOL International for $1.36 billion, topping an offer from France’s Imerys.
** JOS. A. BANK CLOTHIERS INC, $55.03, +0.20 pct
** MEN‘S WEARHOUSE INC, $44.37, -4.64 pct
Men’s clothing retailer Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, the target of an unwelcome bid from rival Men’s Wearhouse, said it would buy outdoor clothing retailer Eddie Bauer for $825 million in its latest effort to stay independent.
** FONAR CORP $22.59, +24.81 pct
The medical imaging equipment maker reported an 88 percent rise in second-quarter net income. Fonar also posted sales of $17.6 million in the quarter ended December 31, an increase of 83 percent, year-on-year.
** ELLIE MAE INC, $29, +16.75 pct
The company, whose software is used by mortgage professionals, reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter revenue and said it booked 9,800 new Encompass seats during the quarter, 6,500 of which were new customers.
Ellie Mae uses its Encompass software in handling various aspects of a mortgage, such as customer relationship management, loan processing and underwriting.
** CINEDIGM CORP, $2.71, -7.51 pct
The company’s third-quarter loss widened from a year earlier, as its operating expenses nearly doubled.
Cinedigm provides software and services for storage and electronic delivery of digital content to movie theaters for major film studios.
** CIENA CORP, $25.19, +8.16 pct
The U.S. network equipment maker, on Friday, agreed with Sweden-based Ericsson, the No. 1 global supplier of mobile network gear, for the development of joint transport solutions for IP-optical convergence. (r.reuters.com/kek86v)
** INCONTACT INC, $8.76, -4.89 pct
The provider of cloud-based contact center solutions reported a bigger fourth-quarter loss year-on-year, as operating expenses rose 33 percent.
** KOSS CORP, $5.2399, -11.19 pct
The company, which makes stereo headphones for consumers and audio professionals, reported a second-quarter loss compared with a profit a year earlier, as sales dropped 24.5 percent.
Koss said it has been experiencing low demand in Europe and added that it took an impairment charge of about $4.5 million related to its software and inventory, after it developed new technology that supports its Wi-Fi headphones and earphones.
** CLIFFS NATURAL RESOURCES INC, $23.04, +5.21 pct
The iron ore and coal miner, which is battling an activist investor who wants to break up the mining company, reported much better-than-expected earnings, helped by a drop in costs and higher iron ore prices.
** GNC HOLDINGS INC, $45.55, -13.06 pct
** VITAMIN SHOPPE INC, $40.99, -7.37 pct
The health supplements retailer reported weaker-than-expected quarterly results, hurt by heavy promotions during the holiday shopping period.
Shares of rival Vitamin Shoppe were also down.
** COTY INC, $14.8, +7.87 pct
The perfume and cosmetics maker announced a $200 million share repurchase program for its Class A shares. Chief Executive Michele Scannavini said the share repurchase program reaffirmed their confidence in the company’s strategy and long-term growth potential.
** PETROQUEST ENERGY INC, $4.31, +8.56 pct
Analysts at FBR Capital Markets upgraded their rating on the oil and gas producer’s stock to “outperform” from “market perform,” citing higher spot prices in the company’s Gulf Coast gas assets.
** NAVIOS MARITIME ACQUISITION CORP, $4, -3.61 pct
The owner and operator of tanker vessels announced plans to offer 12 million shares of its common stock.
** ENDEAVOUR SILVER CORP, $5.53, +7.38 pct
** FIRST MAJESTIC SILVER CORP, $12.26, +4.97 pct
** SILVER STANDARD RESOURCES INC, $10.383, +5.20 pct
** IAMGOLD CORP, $4.19, +3.97 pct
** HECLA MINING CO, $3.46, +3.90 pct
** AURICO GOLD INC, $5.22, +2.55 pct
Silver climbed to its highest since November at $21.28 an ounce on Friday and was poised to post its second straight weekly gain. Prices were up 3.9 percent at $21.25.
Gold rose to three-month highs and looked set to post its biggest weekly gain in six months as a series of weak U.S. data this week raised fears about economic growth, hurting the dollar.
Spot gold was up 1.3 percent at $1,319.31 an ounce by 1507 GMT, after rising to its highest since Nov. 7 at $1,320.90. It was up around 4 percent for the week, the largest such gain since mid-August.
** OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM CORP, $95.47, +3.47 pct
The oil and gas producer said it would spin off its oil and gas assets in California into a separately traded company and move its headquarters from Los Angeles to Houston, where it will be closer to its largest U.S. operations.
** MAGNUM HUNTER RESOURCES CORP, $8.58, +5.15 pct
The independent oil and gas producer announced a gas discovery in its Utica Shale well today. The company said its dry gas well in Ohio was placed on production and tested at a peak rate of 32.5 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.
** OXFORD INDUSTRIES INC, $73.07, -4.56 pct
The apparel retailer, on Thursday, forecast fourth-quarter results below the average analyst estimate, citing weak sales of its lifestyle brands, including Tommy Bahama and Ben Sherman‘s, in January.
** GENERAL MOTORS CO, $35.92, +2.05 pct
** SEARS HOLDINGS CORP, $41.2, -5.11 pct
** JC PENNEY CO INC, $6.128, +2.30 pct
** AGRIUM INC, $88.27, +0.06 pct
** HUNTSMAN CORP, $23.22, +2.16 pct
Activist investor Jana Partners LLC disclosed its stake in these companies. (r.reuters.com/kam86v)
** LCA-VISION INC, $5.3736, +26.44 pct
** PHOTOMEDEX INC, $14.18, +2.60 pct
Skin health company PhotoMedex said it would buy LCA-Vision, which provides laser vision correction services under the Lasik Plus brand, for about $106 million.
** J.M. SMUCKER CO, $89.68, -5.74 pct
The maker of Folgers coffee and Jif peanut butter forecast full-year results below the average analyst estimate, citing increased competition in its peanut butter business and a shift in consumer preference away from artificially sweetened fruit spreads.
** AGILENT TECHNOLOGIES INC, $55.76, -7.19 pct
The company cut its full-year adjusted profit forecast, citing lower revenue from its electronic measurement business due to “challenges” in the aerospace and defense market.
Cowen and Co cut its price target on the company’s stock to $63 from $65.
** COLFAX CORP, $68.2, -2.17 pct
The pumps and fluid-handling products maker increased the size of its offering of common shares to 8 million from 6.5 million. Colfax said it would offer each share at $68.75.
** TRULIA INC, $29.77, -18.28 pct
** ZILLOW INC, $82.45, -8.39 pct
The online real-estate listings service provider reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit due to a jump in marketing expenses and said it would start a campaign this year to target customers using mobile devices.
Shares of bigger rival Zillow also fell.
** HYATT HOTELS CORP, $52.21, +5.71 pct
The hotel operator recorded a better-than-expected jump in quarterly revenue as growing confidence in the U.S. economy drew more business travelers and tourists to its hotels in the Americas.
** VF CORP, $56.07, -6.38 pct
The apparel retailer reported fourth-quarter earnings of 82 cents per share on revenue of $3.3 billion, just shy of consensus estimates of a profit of 84 cents per share on revenue of $3.34 billion.
** SILVERCORP METALS INC, $2.9, -12.12 pct
The Canadian silver miner said on Thursday that it had cut its quarterly dividend to 0.5 Canadian cents (C$0.005) from 2.5 Canadian cents (C$0.025).
The company’s third-quarter revenue more than halved, hurt by a lower realized price of the metal and a sharp decline in production.
** J2 GLOBAL INC, $50.03, +6.81 pct
The cloud services provider forecast full-year results well above the average analyst estimate, after posting a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit on Thursday, helped by growth in its digital media business.
** WEIGHT WATCHERS INTERNATIONAL INC, $22.61, -26.06 pct
Weight Watchers, which is facing increasing competition from diet apps and calorie-counting gadgets, forecast a full-year adjusted profit far below the average analyst estimate and said it plans to “resize” its business. “The start of our year is proving to be every bit as challenging as we thought, if not more so,” Chief Executive Jim Chambers said.
** CAFEPRESS INC, $5.15, -22.44 pct
The print-on-demand website reported a much smaller-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, hurt by a decrease in average order size, lower conversion rates and higher costs related to the short holiday season.
** LOGMEIN INC, $40.42, +21.49 pct
The remote-access software maker forecast better-than-expected current-quarter results after posting fourth-quarter results above expectations, as its browser-based online meeting and screen-sharing service, join.me, saw strong year-on-year revenue growth.
** CRAY INC, $41.2815, +37.74 pct
The supercomputer maker reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results, helped by higher sales.
** AEROPOSTALE INC, $6.1, -4.69 pct
Brokerage BMO Capital Markets downgraded its rating on the teen apparel retailer’s stock to “market perform” from “outperform,” saying that although it believed the company’s growing fashion content would help the brand attract new customers, the turn was taking longer than expected.
“While we believe Aero is taking the right course of action, the customer is taking longer to appreciate these changes than we would have expected, and with mall traffic remaining down, we lack visibility into when this will improve,” BMO analyst John Morris wrote in a note.
** REGAL ENTERTAINMENT GROUP, $18.97, -2.82 pct
The largest U.S. theater chain reported lower-than-expected fourth-quarter profit on Thursday due to a rise in operating expenses.
At least three brokerages cut their price targets on the company’s stock on Friday.
** STAMPS.COM INC, $34.1501, -11.64 pct
The online postal services provider, which reported fourth-quarter results on Thursday, forecast full-year profit largely below the average analyst estimate, saying it expects enhanced promotion revenue and PhotoStamps revenue to be down in 2014, compared with 2013.
** BANKRATE INC, $19.89, +14.31 pct
The operator of personal finance websites reported a better-than-expected fourth-quarter adjusted profit, helped by a 30 percent rise in revenue. For the full year, Bankrate forecast revenue between $520 million and $530 million, largely beating the average analyst estimate of revenue of $522.5 million.
At least four brokerages, including JP Morgan and RBC, raised their price targets on the company’s stock.
** EQUIFAX INC, $69.36, -3.44 pct
The credit reporting agency’s fourth-quarter results met expectations, but it forecast lower-than-expected earnings for 2014.
** ALNYLAM PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $76.56, -6.13 pct
The company reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss due to increased spending on research and development.
** BROCADE COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS INC, $9.62, +2.01 pct
The network equipment maker reported better-than-expected first-quarter results on Thursday and said it expects a modest improvement in the Americas region, including among U.S. Federal customers.
At least four brokerages raised their price targets on the company’s stock on Friday.
** INGRAM MICRO, $29, +11.75 pct
The electronics distributor reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results on Thursday, as revenue rose 4 percent year-on-year to $11.8 billion.
Brokerage Needham and Co Inc raised its price target on the company’s stock.
** JUST ENERGY GROUP INC, $7.53, +10.41 pct
The natural gas and electricity retailer reported higher third-quarter sales compared with the previous year, helped by an increased customer base and higher consumption of electricity and gas due to colder weather conditions.
** TRW AUTOMOTIVE HOLDINGS CORP, $79.48, +4.11 pct
The auto parts supplier posted a higher-than-expected fourth-quarter profit and forecast strong sales for the year, helped by growth in North America and China.
** LINCOLN ELECTRIC HOLDINGS INC, $73.11, +3.20 pct
The manufacturer of welding, cutting and brazing products reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by acquisitions and an increased demand for its products in North America.
Compiled by Garima Goel in Bangalore; Editing by Simon Jennings