MARKET PULSE-Facebook, Wal-Mart, Raptor Pharma, Portfolio Recovery

Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:26am 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 turned positive after an industry report showed U.S. manufacturing activity accelerated in February at its fastest pace in nearly four years. Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 0.09 percent at 16,030, S&P 500 futures were up 0.08 percent at 1,827 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.03 percent at 3,655.75.

** FACEBOOK INC, Wednesday close $68.06, -0.87 pct premarket

** BLACKBERRY LTD, Wednesday close $9.01, +5.33 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.

However, some analysts said the deal made strategic sense as it will solidify the company's position as a leader in mobile.

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

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.

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