MARKET PULSE-Facebook, Tesla, Wal-Mart, Safeway, Onconova Therapeutics

Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:45am EST
 
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(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. stock index futures edged lower on Thursday as global geopolitical and economic uncertainty gave investors few reasons to buy despite a sharp selloff in the previous session. Dow Jones industrial average futures were down 0.07 percent at 16,004, S&P 500 futures were down 0.26 percent at 1,820.7 and Nasdaq 100 futures were down 0.29 percent at 3,644.

** FACEBOOK INC, Wednesday close $68.06, -3.86 pct premarket

** BLACKBERRY LTD, Wednesday close $9.01, +5.55 pct premarket

The world's largest social network will buy fast-growing mobile-messaging startup WhatsApp for $19 billion in cash and stock in a landmark deal that places the company closer to the heart of mobile communications and may bring younger users into the fold. But many balked at the price tag.

Facebook is paying $42 per user with the deal, dwarfing its own $33 per user cost of acquiring Instagram. By comparison, Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten just bought messaging service Viber for $3 per user, in a $900 million deal.

The stunning bid sent shares of BlackBerry Ltd surging after the closing bell on Wednesday because it put a rough valuation metric around the Canadian smartphone maker's own BlackBerry Messaging service.

For a graphic on price paid per user, (link.reuters.com/mej96v)

** WAL-MART STORES INC, Wednesday close $74.85, -1.14 pct premarket   Continued...