Handset maker Palm ( PALM) gained 67 cents, or 10.7%, to $6.96 after it worked out a deal to offer its Centro smartphone on Verizon's ( VZ) wireless network.

Priced at $99 and introduced first on the Sprint Nextel ( S) network last year, Centro has become popular for its price and features. Palm also said it expects to reach 2 million in sales of Centro phones this year.

Nortel Networks ( NT) was up 83 cents, or 9%, to $10.03 after an analyst at JPMorgan upgraded the stock to overweight from neutral. The change in rating followed Nortel's announcement affirming its full-year outlook during an investor meeting Wednesday.

Elsewhere, China Medical ( CMED) rose 17.5% to $39.28. The company said that it earned $15 million, or 53 cents per American depositary share, in the recent quarter. It recorded an adjusted profit of 66 per ADS, vs. 44 cents in the year prior. Revenue increased to $40.6 million. Analysts expected $36.8 million, on average, according to Thomson-Reuters.

Looking ahead, China Medical guided to a profit of $2.87 to $2.96 a share, on revenue in a range of $169.7 million to $175.4 million. Analysts expected $2.55 a share on $161.9 million in revenue, on average.

Biotech company Invitrogen ( IVGN) said Thursday it will buy Applera Corp.'s scientific-instrument company Applied Biosystems ( ABI) in a $6.7 billion cash and stock deal. Invitrogen shares gave up 10.7% to $38.73, while Applied Biosystems climbed 5.3% to $34.16.

Meanwhile, Talbots ( TLB) continued climbing Thursday, a day after the retailer received a $50 million term-loan credit facility commitment, bringing its borrowing capacity to $215 million. The Hingham, Mass., company also reaffirmed its previous 2008 earnings outlook of 47 cents to 52 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters are looking for 41 cents a share. The stock surged 24.7% higher to $10.75 Thursday.

News of a weak corn harvest and a call by presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain to end subsidies for the industry hurt ethanol stocks. Pacific Ethanol ( PEIX - Get Report) lost 14.4% to $2.38.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.