MARKET PULSE-Avis Budget, Blackhawk Network, Quanta, Yandex, Conn's
(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 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, (link.reuters.com/mej96v)
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...