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(For faster updates on individual market-movers, Eikon users please use search string "STXBZ US"; for the Day Ahead newsletter, link.reuters.com/mex49s; for the Morning News Call newsletter, link.reuters.com/nex49s) Wall Street drifted higher in late morning trading on Thursday as consumer staples stocks rose after reports that Oreo cookies maker Mondelez had made a bid to buy Hershey Co. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.70 percent at 17,818.5, the S&P 500 was up 0.69 percent at 2,085.04 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.74 percent at 4,814.427.
** HERSHEY CO, $112.99, +16.32 pct
** MONDELEZ INTERNATIONAL INC, $43.595, +1.45 pct
Mondelez, the maker of Oreo cookies and Cadbury chocolates, has made a takeover bid for Hershey, the Wall Street Journal reported.
** LIONS GATE ENTERTAINMENT CORP, $21.74, +3.82 pct
** STARZ, $31.475, +11.42 pct
Lions Gate, the film studio behind the Hunger Games movie franchise, said it would buy premium television network Starz for $4.4 billion in cash and stock, in a deal that would unite two media companies with ties to cable mogul John Malone.
** CARE.COM, $11.74, +38.61 pct
Google Capital invested $46.35 million in the online marketplace operator. Alphabet's Google Capital became Care.Com's top shareholder and got a board seat with the investment.
** MOBILEYE NV, $47.11, +12.27 pct
** INTEL CORP, $32.38, +1.41 pct
BMW is close to unveiling a development partnership for autonomous cars with Israeli collision detection software maker Mobileye and U.S. chip maker Intel, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
** DARDEN RESTAURANTS INC, $63.32, -4.00 pct
The company reported lower-than-expected quarterly sales as fewer customers visited its Olive Garden restaurants.
** CONAGRA FOODS INC, $47.44, -0.34 pct
The company's quarterly net sales fell 9.5 percent, missing analysts' estimates, as demand weakened for its consumer foods, which include Chef Boyardee pasta and Hunt's ketchup.
** HARVEST NATURAL RESOURCES INC, $0.8296, +73.45 pct
The oil and gas producer plans to exit Venezuela by selling all its assets to private investment firm CT Energy Holding SRL.
** TRANSITION THERAPEUTICS INC, $1.4736, +110.51 pct
Opko Health Inc is to buy the Canadian drug developer, which is developing drug candidates for diabetes and obesity, among others, in an all-stock deal valued at about $60 million, or $1.55 per share.
** HIGHER ONE HOLDINGS INC, $5.1, +36.00 pct
The payment processing and refund disbursement services provider will be bought by education technology company Blackboard Inc's affiliate for $5.15 per share.
** SHUTTERSTOCK INC, $46.22, +8.14 pct
The stock image provider is to replace Southwest Gas Corp on the S&P SmallCap 600 index.
** ALLY FINANCIAL INC, $16.54, +3.76 pct
The U.S. auto lender is to pay its first quarterly dividend of $0.08 per share, following the Fed's approval of its 2016 capital plan.
** CEMTREX INC, $3.742, +7.84 pct
The custom-designed cables and connectors maker said it received $12 million in new orders over the past month, its strongest monthly bookings in history.
** INTERCEPT PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $141.2, -5.79 pct
The drugmaker announced a public offering of $400 million convertible senior notes due 2023.
** KINGTONE WIRELESSINFO SOLUTION HOLDING LTD, $1.79, -42.26 pct
The wireless device software maker slashed its FY 2016 revenue forecast to $2-$4 million from $7-$10 million, hurt by strong competition in the wireless system solution business.
** ANHEUSER-BUSCH INBEV SA, $130.53, +3.35 pct
South Africa's Competition Tribunal granted conditional approval for the proposed merger of about $100 billion by brewer Anheuser-Busch Inbev and SABMiller, the anti-trust authority said on Thursday.
** ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND GROUP PLC, $4.65, -5.49 pct
Morgan Stanley cut the bank's rating to "equalweight", price target to 210p from 290p. MS analysts cut 2018 EPS forecasts for UK domestic banks by 12-27 percent, given weaker UK GDP and lower-for-longer rates.
** TRACTOR SUPPLY CO, $91.83, -3.51 pct
The farm supplies and animal care products company reduced its revenue and earnings forecast, saying lower-than-average spring temperatures clipped its sales in April and May.
** BRIXMOR PROPERTY GROUP INC, $26.3, -2.34 pct
The shopping center owner and operator priced a secondary offering of 20 million shares of common stock by certain selling stockholders at $26.15 per share, a discount of 2.9 percent to Wednesday's close.
** INTEROIL CORP, $44.98, +6.94 pct
The oil and gas producer, which agreed last month to be acquired by Australia's Oil Search Ltd, said it had received an unsolicited offer from an unnamed bidder.
** STONE ENERGY CORP, $10.69, +8.86 pct
The oil and gas company entered into an interim gas gathering and processing agreement with Williams Cos Inc , allowing Stone Energy to resume production at the Mary field in Appalachia.
** TESARO INC, $83.71, +8.15 pct
The cancer drug maker launched a public follow-on offering. It is set to price the offering after market close on Thursday. The company is offering $300 million of common stock with a $45 million overallotment option.
** CONSTELLATION BRANDS INC, $163.49, +2.57 pct
The alcoholic beverage maker reported a bigger-than-expected 15 percent jump in quarterly net sales, helped by higher demand for its Corona and Modelo beers during the Memorial Day weekend.
** PIER 1 IMPORTS INC, $4.96, -8.82 pct
The home decor and furniture importer posted lower-than-expected first-quarter revenue and same-store sales on weak demand for its outdoor furniture. (Compiled by Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)