U.S. stocks rose on Thursday, putting the Dow on track for a sixth straight day of gains, although trading was light following the Christmas holiday. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.53 percent at 16,444.82, the S&P 500 was up 0.34 percent at 1,839.57 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.23 percent at 4,165.051.
** T-MOBILE US INC, $32.37, +0.56 pct
** SPRINT CORP, $9.96, +3.11 pct
Japan’s SoftBank Corp is in talks to acquire U.S. wireless carrier T-Mobile US and is discussing funding for a deal with financial institutions, sources close to the matter said on Wednesday. SoftBank is looking to have its recently acquired U.S. unit Sprint take a majority stake in T-Mobile from the latter’s parent Deutsche Telekom AG in the financial year starting April, one of the sources added.
** BLACKBERRY LTD, $7.291, -5.68 pct
The smartphone maker’s co-founder Mike Lazaridis cut his stake in the company on Tuesday to 4.99 percent from 8 percent, and said that a group, which included Lazaridis, walked away from exploring a bid for the troubled company.
** J.C. PENNY CO INC, $8.98, +2.63 pct
** TARGET CORP,$62.35, +1.04 pct
The 2013 holiday season, touted to be the worst since 2008, showed strong growth compared with last year, according to data published by MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, which tracks customer spending during the holiday season.
Holiday sales between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24 rose 2.3 percent compared with 0.7 percent a year earlier.
** HHGREGG INC, $14.56, -2.61 pct
The appliance and electronics retailer said Chief Financial Officer Jeremy Aguilar had quit the company and that it was appointing Senior Vice President Andrew Giesler its interim CFO.
** TEXTURA CORP, $30.35, -19.58 pct
Short-seller Citron Research accused the software maker of lying to the Securities and Exchange Commission about the involvement of Chief Executive Patrick Allin in a “pump-and-dump” scheme. Perpetrators of a pump-and-dump scheme attempt to boost the price of a stock through recommendations based on false, misleading or greatly exaggerated statements. They then sell their positions after the hype has pushed the share price.
** ORAMED PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $12.03, -19.80 pct
The Israeli developer of oral drug delivery systems said on Wednesday that it had agreed to sell 1.58 million shares of its common stock at $10 per share in a registered direct offering. The offering price is at a discount of 33 percent to the stock’s close on Tuesday.
** EAGLE ROCK ENERGY PARTNERS, $6.221, -2.03 pct
Shares of the company, which transports natural gas and associated liquids, rose for the third day after it said on Monday that it would sell pipeline assets in Texas Panhandle for $1.3 billion to Regency Energy Partners LP.
Analysts at Wells Fargo raised their rating on Eagle Rock’s stock on Tuesday to “outperform” from “market perform,” according to Theflyonthewall.com.
** THE BLACKSTONE GROUP, $31.2, +0.61 pct
Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC was named as British Land’s new partner in London’s Broadgate office and retail complex on Tuesday, buying out U.S. private equity group Blackstone for around 1.7 billion pounds ($2.8 billion).
** GOLD RESOURCE CORP, $4.62, -4.94 pct
The Mexican gold and silver producer reduced its monthly dividend to 1 cent per share from 3 cents per share, citing weak precious metal prices, recent tax imposition on precious metal producers in Mexico and the company’s cash saving strategies.
** EXXON MOBIL CORP, $100.59, +1.38 pct
Imperial Oil Ltd, 69.6-percent owned by Exxon Mobil, has upped its cost estimate for the Mackenzie Gas Project in Canada’s far north by about 40 percent because of rising prices for materials and labor, meaning the entire project would cost more than C$20 billion ($18.82 billion) if it goes ahead.
** AURICO GOLD INC, $3.63, +2.83 pct
** FIRST MAJESTIC SILVER CORP, $9.57, +2.35 pct
** COEUR MINING INC, $10.59, +2.02 pct
** HECLA MINING CO, $2.85, +1.79 pct
** SILVER STANDARD RESOURCES INC, $6.82, +0.59 pct
Gold prices gained nearly 1 percent in thin year-end holiday trade on Thursday. Spot gold rose as much as 0.9 percent to a one-week high earlier and was trading up 0.8 percent by 1519 GMT.
Silver rose 2.3 percent, having earlier touched its highest level since Dec. 18. (Compiled by Mridhula Raghavan in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)