This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
See Cramer's multi-million dollar portfolio for FREE and get his new book Get Rich Carefully! Learn More

Stocks Gain on Upbeat Manufacturing Data; Facebook Pops on WhatsApp Deal

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks gained Thursday as U.S. manufacturing data improved in February.

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.58% to 16,133.23, while the S&P 500 was 0.6% higher at 1,839.78. The Nasdaq gained 0.7% to 4,267.54.
  • The Markit Economics preliminary index of U.S. manufacturing rose to 56.7 in February from 53.7 last month. This beat expectations for a result of 53.6. A level lower than 50 points to contraction. Regional results varied: the February Philadelphia Fed Index notched a fall in manufacturing conditions from 9.4 in January to -6.3 in February.
  • Jobless claims for the week of Feb. 15 fell 3,000 to 336,000 vs. an estimate of 335,000. The Consumer Price Index for January, released Thursday, increased by an as-expected 0.1%.
  • The flash Markit/HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index for China sank to a seven-month low of 48.3 in February from  49.5 in January. This further fueled fears of a slowdown in the world's largest emerging economy.
  • In stock news, Facebook  (FB) has also agreed to buy messaging company WhatsApp for $19 billion in cash and stock. Facebook shares increased 2.3% to $69.63, reversing early-morning losses. Blackberry (BBRY) shares also gained on news of the deal, up 3.8% to $9.35 amid speculation its messaging platform has been undervalued.
  • Tesla Motors  (TSLA) jumped 8.4% after forecasting sales of its Model S sedan would rise 56% this yearQuanta Services (PWR) added 7.6% to $34.54 after announcing record revenue of $1.82 billion for the fourth quarter. 
  • Walmart (WMT) was the leading laggard in the Dow, falling 1.8% to $73.52 after providing a worse-than-expected full-year outlook. The company posted fourth-quarter revenue of $129.7 billion vs. expectations of $130.23 billion.
  • In M&A news, Finland's Nokia  (NOK) is considering buying Juniper Networks (JNPR). Reports suggested Nokia would need to offer a premium to Juniper's market value of about $14 billion. Juniper shares rose 0.77% to $27.41.
  • In other stock news, Quanta Services (PWR) was the top performer in the S&P 500 after the company increased its outlook for first-quarter adjusted earnings per share to $1.85 to $2.05, which was stronger than Wall Street's expectation of $1.85. Shares popped 7.6% to $34.55. DirecTV (DTV) advanced 2.9% to $75.08 after announcing a $3.5 billion stock repurchase program and reporting fourth-quarter results that topped expectations.  
  • The FTSE in the U.K. closed up 0.24% and the DAX in Germany was 0.43% lower. The Hong Kong Hang Seng closed down 1.19% and Japan's Nikkei 225 finished off 2.15%.
-- Written by Jane Searle and Joe Deaux in New York

Stock quotes in this article: WMT, FB, ^IXIC, ^DJI, ^GSPC, BBRY, SWY, JNPR, FB 

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
DOW 16,262.56 +89.32 0.55%
S&P 500 1,842.98 +12.37 0.68%
NASDAQ 4,034.1610 +11.4670 0.29%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto
Advertising Partners

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs