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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 modestly on Friday, with investors wary of making big bets in a short post-holiday session, though the S&P 500 is set for its longest weekly winning streak in 10 years.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.29 percent, the S&P 500 0.27 percent and the Nasdaq Composite 0.55 percent.
** NET 1 UEPS TECHNOLOGIES INC, $8.12, down 30 pct (12:04 p.m. ET)
South Africa's Constitutional Court ruled that the tender process followed by the South African Social Security Agency in awarding a contract to Net 1's unit Cash Paymaster Services Ltd was invalid.
** ZOOM TECHNOLOGIES, $7.42, up 209 pct (12:17 p.m. ET)
The China-based maker of broadband and dial-up modems, bluetooth wireless equipment and communication-related products said on Wednesday it signed an agreement to acquire mobile advertising service provider Baifen Tonglian Information and Technology Co.
** SINO-GLOBAL SHIPPING AMERICA LTD, $2.13, up 21 pct (12:18 p.m. ET)
The international shipping agency and logistic services provider posted on Wednesday its first quarterly profit since going public in 2008 as costs fell sharply and its newly developed logistic services business helped boost margins.
** FORTINET INC, $17.20, down 12 pct (12:18 p.m. ET)
The enterprise network security services provider said Chief Financial Officer Ahmed Rubaie was leaving the company. The company named Nancy Bush as interim finance chief.
** RENREN INC, $2.98, down 11 pct (12:18 p.m. ET)
The Chinese social media company on Wednesday forecast fourth-quarter revenue of $29-$31 million. Analysts on average were expecting revenue of $48.9 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Net loss attributable to the company widened in the third quarter from a year earlier.
Jefferies & Co downgraded the company's stock to "underperform" from "hold" and cut its price target to $2.90 from $3.30.
** APPLE INC, $556.5, up 2 pct (12:19 p.m. ET)
A California federal judge has dismissed a consumer lawsuit over data privacy against Apple, saying the plaintiffs had failed to show they had relied on any alleged company misrepresentations and that they had suffered harm.
** GENCO SHIPPING AND TRADING LTD, $2.66, up 11 pct (12:19 p.m. ET)
** EAGLE BULK SHIPPING INC, $3.98, up 7 pct
** PARAGON SHIPPING INC, $5.62, up 5 pct
** DRYSHIPS INC, $3.43, up 4 pct
** BALTIC TRADING LTD, $5.10, up 7 pct
** STAR BULK CARRIERS CORP, $9.41, up 4 pct
The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which gauges the cost of shipping bulk commodities such as iron ore, grain, coal and fertilizer, rose on Friday on higher capesize and panamax rates. The overall index, which factors in the average daily earnings of capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize dry bulk transport vessels, rose more than 50 points or 3 percent to 1,665 points.
** W&T OFFSHORE INC, $17.18, down 9 pct (12:20 p.m. ET)
The U.S. oil and gas producer said on Wednesday that it had recently received notices from U.S. government regulators related to environmental issues that could affect some of its operations on federal oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico.
Analysts at Capital One Securities cut their rating on the stock to "neutral" from "buy" on Friday, citing risks associated with the regulatory actions.
** THORATEC CORP, $39.40, down 6 pct (12:20 p.m. ET)
Researchers have found a higher rate of dangerous blood clots in patients who received Thoratec's HeartMate II heart pump than had been seen in clinical trials or prior experience, according to a study published on Wednesday.
They also found that when blood clots do develop, they are occurring closer to the time of HeartMate implantation than had been previously observed. The findings were reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.
** ARCHER DANIELS MIDLAND CO, $40.43, down 3 pct (12:20 p.m. ET)
Australia rejected a A$2.8 billion ($2.6 billion) takeover of GrainCorp by the U.S. agribusiness giant on Friday, bowing to pressure from grain growers in a rare and surprising decision.
** RIO TINTO, $53.30, up 5 pct (12:20 p.m. ET)
The miner said on Friday it will stop alumina production at its Gove refinery in Australia, as the plant is no longer viable amid difficult market conditions.
** INTELLIPHARMACEUTICS INTERNATIONAL INC, $3.82, down 3 pct (12:21 p.m. ET)
The Toronto-based drug developer said it would sell about 5.3 million common shares to raise $16.8 million through an at-the-market offering. The company intends to use these net proceeds for general corporate purposes and to fund research and development.
** VALE SA, $15.28, up 4 pct (12:21 p.m. ET)
The Brazilian miner said on Wednesday that it agreed to pay 22.325 billion reais ($9.61 billion) in taxes on profit from overseas operations, accepting an offer from Brazil's government that cuts a disputed back-tax bill in half.
** BARCLAYS PLC, $17.82, up 3.7 pct (12:25 p.m. ET)
Britain's banking regulator relaxed a new rule determining the quality of assets banks must hold to cover risks from pension liabilities. Barclays was seen as having to find the most capital. (Compiled by Maria Ajit Thomas in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)