MARKET PULSE-Avis Budget, Blackhawk Network, Quanta, Yandex, Conn's

Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:38am EST
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(For more market insights, including options activity, click on ; for the Day Ahead newsletter; for the Morning News Call newsletter, U.S. stocks edged higher in volatile trading on Thursday, as a strong read on manufacturing offset weak results from Wal-Mart and geopolitical and economic uncertainty around the world. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.47 percent at 16,116.75, the S&P 500 was up 0.37 percent at 1,835.58 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.29 percent at 4,250.113.

** FACEBOOK INC, $66.66, -2.06 pct

** BLACKBERRY LTD, $9.52, +5.66 pct

Facebook's purchase of fast-growing mobile-messaging startup WhatsApp for $19 billion stunned the markets but analysts said the deal made strategic sense as it will solidify the social network's position as a leader in mobile.

For a graphic on price paid per user, (

The stunning bid pushed up shares of BlackBerry Ltd as investors placed bets that the smartphone maker's own messaging platform has been undervalued.

** WAL-MART STORES INC, $73.64, -1.62 pct   Continued...