(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 on Friday, putting the S&P 500 on track for its biggest weekly climb in two months, after U.S. growth data boosted investor confidence that the economy can support a wind-down of Federal Reserve stimulus. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.57 percent at 16,271.88, the S&P 500 was up 0.69 percent at 1,822.14 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 1.12 percent at 4,103.541.
** BLACKBERRY LTD, $7.16, +14.56 pct
The smartphone maker, which gave up on a plan to sell itself last month, reported a massive quarterly loss, as sales of its smartphones shriveled and it booked asset impairment charges and inventory writedowns.
The company also announced a five-year partnership with Foxconn Technology Co Ltd to develop and manufacture a handset for Indonesia and other emerging markets.
** ORACLE CORP, $36.63, +0.08 pct
** RESPONSYS INC, $27.16, +39.14 pct
** MARKETO INC, $36.4, +10.67 pct
Oracle, the world’s No. 2 business software maker, said it would buy cloud-based marketing software maker Responsys in a deal valued at $1.5 billion.
FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives said the deal could trigger a wave of consolidation in the industry and Marketo could be an acquisition target.
** APRICUS BIOSCIENCES INC, $2.132, +12.80 pct
The San Diego-based company said France’s health regulators approved its erectile dysfunction topical treatment, Vitaros. Vitaros is already approved in Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Canada, Apricus said.
** ENDOLOGIX INC, $16.38, +1.24 pct
The company said it received the U.S. health regulator’s approval to begin evaluating the safety and effectiveness of its heart device, Nellix EndoVascular Aneurysm Sealing System, to repair a type of aortic aneurysm.
** GREEN PLAINS RENEWABLE ENERGY INC, $19.4, +7.42 pct
The ethanol maker will replace food maker Hain Celestial Group Inc in the S&P SmallCap 600 index after the market closes on Monday, Standard & Poor’s said.
** FASTENAL CO, $45.8, -2.88 pct
The maker of fasteners, metal-cutting tool blades and abrasives said its fourth-quarter profit would miss analysts’ estimates due to weak sales from its heavy manufacturing business that sells to construction and mining industries and to the U.S. military.
** J.C. PENNEY CO INC, $8.328, +4.62 pct
Boutique research firm Cleveland Research said channel checks show that the struggling retailer is seeing improving comparable-store sales trends through mid-December. (link.reuters.com/jad65v)
** ORAMED PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $10.564, +47.75 pct
The Israel-based company said its experimental oral insulin capsule demonstrated positive responses in diabetes patients in a pharmacokinetic study, which aims to test what the human body does to the drug.
** ARIAD PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $6.89, +24.82 pct
The company said it would resume selling its leukemia drug, Iclusig, in the United States, nearly two months after sales were halted due to safety concerns.
** TOWERJAZZ SEMICONDUCTOR LTD, $7.07, +57.46 pct
The Israeli chipmaker will form a joint venture with Panasonic Corp to manufacture Panasonic’s semiconductors for cars and other products, a move expected to boost TowerJazz’s revenue by 65 percent.
** ALLERGAN INC, $108.39, +4.46 pct
At least two brokerages raised their price target on the drugmaker’s stock. Susquehanna analysts also increased their price target by $15 to $122.
The company’s chronic dry eye drops, Restasis, which recently won three additional U.S. patents, may not have to counter generic challengers for several years, Bernstein analysts wrote in a note. They raised their target on the stock by $5 to $110.
** BOEING CO, $137.62, +1.81 pct
The company said it won an order from Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd for 21 Boeing 777X jets, valued at more than $7 billion at current list prices.
** MAGNUM HUNTER RESOURCES CORP, $7.23, +7.75 pct
The oil and gas producer released an operations update that included results of five new Marcellus wells. “Four of five new Marcellus wells that came online had (production rates) more than double what we were looking for,” SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analysts said, adding that they expected the stock to outperform on the news.
** AMBARELLA INC, $28.6315, +14.21 pct
The company, which makes chips used to capture, process and display high-definition video for cameras, said it was exploring with Google Inc a new class of wearable cameras for the Helpouts application and service.
Helpouts are apps used to support interactive teaching of activities such as sports, art and cooking by enabling instructors to see live videos from the trainee’s perspective, or vice versa.
** NAVIOS MARITIME HOLDINGS INC, $9.94, +5.97 pct
The dry bulk shipper will benefit from higher rates for bigger vessels, Stifel Nicolaus analyst Benjamin Nolan said.
The Baltic Exchange’s capesize index was up 279 points, or nearly 8 percent, on Friday.
** RENESOLA LTD, $3.28, +2.50 pct
The Chinese solar products maker said on Thursday that it would supply panels to a thermal solutions company based in California. Renesola also said that privately held Vista Solar was testing its microinverters and string inverters on a rooftop project.
** MIMEDX GROUP INC, $8.27, +6.71 pct
Canaccord Genuity raised its price target on the company’s stock to $12 from $8, citing the opportunity arising from MiMedx’s distribution agreement with Medtronic Inc signed in October.
The brokerage also said MiMedx, which sells human-tissue derived products to help in wound care and spine repair, was one of its top growth picks for 2014.
** CARMAX INC, $48.36, -8.84 pct
The largest used-car retailer in the United States, reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit and said car loan providers tightened credit terms late in the quarter.
** CARNIVAL CORP, $38.68, +1.66 pct
At least two brokerages raised their ratings on the cruise operator’s stock after the company reported better-than-expected quarterly results and said revenue yields, which blend ticket sales and money spent onboard, fell 2.1 percent in the quarter instead of the 3-4 percent drop estimated earlier.
UBS upgraded the stock to “buy” from “neutral,” while Credit Suisse raised its rating to “outperform” from “neutral.”
** NAVISTAR INTERNATIONAL CORP, $37.5, -4.97 pct
The truck and engine maker reported a 13.5 percent drop in quarterly sales, hurt by weak demand across businesses and market share losses as it moves to a new emission technology.
** CHIMERA INVESTMENT CORP, $3.18, +1.92 pct
The real estate investment trust declared a special common stock cash dividend of 20 cents per share, to be paid to common shareholders on Jan. 31, 2014.
** WESTERN ASSET MORTGAGE CAPITAL CORP, $16.54, +3.89 pct
The REIT declared a fourth-quarter dividend of $2.35 for each common share, payable in a combination of cash and stock to common shareholders of record as of Dec. 30.
** FINISH LINE INC, $28.2025, +7.89 pct
The footwear retailer said it now expected full-year same-store sales to grow 3-4 percent. The company had earlier estimated a low-single digit percentage rise.
Finish Line also said it expected full-year adjusted earnings to rise 9 percent to $1.60-$1.65 per share. The company had earlier estimated a mid-single-digit increase.
Analysts on average were expecting earnings of $1.59 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** TIBCO SOFTWARE, $21.355, -12.77 pct
UBS Equities lowered its rating on the business software maker’s stock to “neutral” from “buy,” according to Theflyonthewall.com.
Susquehanna Financial Group cut its price target on Tibco’s stock, citing lower-than-expected revenue from the company’s license business in the fourth quarter and weakness in its European business.
** RED HAT INC, $57.95, +18.27 pct
The world’s largest commercial distributor of the Linux operating system reported third-quarter results above analysts’ estimates, helped by higher growth in billings, and it raised its full-year forecast.
** DEALERTRACK TECHNOLOGIES INC, $47.98, +12.10 pct
The company said it would buy automotive website Dealer.com from private equity firm Apax Partners in a deal valued at about $1 billion.
** MGIC INVESTMENT CORP, $8.36, +2.33 pct
Compass Point raised its rating on the mortgage insurer’s stock to “buy” from “neutral.” The brokerage also raised its price target to $10 from $6.50.
“We upgrade MGIC due to expected improvement in legacy credit books, modest market share growth and the look through to run rate earnings,” analyst Jason Stewart wrote in a note.
** PEABODY ENERGY CORP, $18.22, -4.76 pct
The coal miner estimated its 2013 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) would be $60 million-$80 million lower than its prior forecast of $1.07 billion-$1.15 billion due to delays in commissioning a new mining system at its North Goonyella mine as well as labor problems at its Metropolitan mine. Both mines produce metallurgical, or steel-making, coal for export.
** AMERICAN VANGUARD CORP, $22.7, -3.53 pct
The chemical maker said it expected sales to fall 30 percent and net earnings to be flat in the fourth quarter due to adverse weather conditions in the midwestern United States. A shortened planting period in the corn and cotton markets and a reduction in planted acres resulted in surplus inventory because of reduced use of the company’s products.
** JAZZ PHARMACEUTICALS PLC, $122.199, +6.52 pct
** GENTIUM, $57.26, +2.89 pct
Ireland-based Jazz Pharmaceuticals said it would buy Italian biotech company Gentium for about $1 billion to get access to its lead product candidate, Defitelio, a drug used for the treatment of a rare liver condition.
** INTERDIGITAL INC, $30.07, -6.03 pct
The U.S. International Trade Commission found that Huawei Technologies, Nokia Corp and ZTE Corp did not infringe cell phone patents owned by wireless research and development company InterDigital. InterDigital had accused the companies of violating seven patents used to make 3G wireless devices.
** JONES GROUP INC, $14.81, +4.81 pct
The group said on Thursday it had agreed to be bought by Sycamore Partners for $15 per share, or $1.2 billion, the latest purchase of a fashion company by the private equity firm.
** BIOCRYST PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $7.14, +2.59 pct
The company filed an application with the U.S. health regulator to market its experimental drug, Peramivir, for the treatment of acute influenza in adults. Peramivir is already in use in Japan and Korea for the condition, Biocryst said.
“BioCryst is preparing to make peramivir available in the U.S. in time for the 2014-15 influenza season, in the event approval is received in that timeframe,” Chief Executive Jon Stonehouse said in a statement.
** AMTRUST FINANCIAL SERVICES INC, $31.09, +5.35 pct
One of Amtrust’s directors, Karfunkel Leah, bought 500,000 shares of the company at $30.25 per share, the property and casualty insurer said in a regulatory filing.
** AMARIN CORP, $2.05, +28.93 pct
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration delayed a decision on approval for an expanded use of the Irish drugmaker’s blood fat-lowering drug. Analysts expected the FDA to reject the wider use of the drug, Vascepa, after a panel of advisers in October said it should not be approved for a broader population until results from an additional study were analyzed.
** RITE AID CORP, $4.77, -7.74 pct
Shares of the third-largest U.S. drugstore chain fell for the second day after the company cut its full-year profit forecast on Thursday, mainly due to Medicare reimbursement cuts and higher cost of some generic drugs.
** MELCO CROWN ENTERTAINMENT, $37.38, -2.40 pct
The company said its MCE Leisure (Philippines) Corp unit priced an offering of about $340 million of 5 percent senior notes due 2019 at 100 percent of par.
The unit plans to use the proceeds for capital expenditure and to refinance debt.
** OVERSTOCK.COM INC, $30.06, +3.30 pct
The ecommerce site plans to be the first major U.S. retailer to accept the digital currency bitcoin, according to a report in the Financial Times. Overstock’s chief executive Patrick Byrne told the FT in an interview that his company could start accepting the currency next year. (Compiled by Neha Dimri in Bangalore; Edited by Kirti Pandey)