MARKET PULSE-BJ's Restaurants, Town Sports, CryoLife, ConAgra

Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:27pm 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. stocks rose on Thursday after a reading on manufacturing activity hit a four-year high, more than offsetting other soft data and weak results from Wal-Mart. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.64 percent at 16,143.82, the S&P 500 was up 0.64 percent at 1,840.42 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.77 percent at 4,270.36.

** FACEBOOK INC, $69.601, +2.26 pct

** BLACKBERRY LTD, $9.45, +4.88 pct

Facebook's purchase of fast-growing messaging startup WhatsApp for an eye-popping $19 billion largely won approval from analysts, who 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, $73.59, -1.68 pct   Continued...