St. Jude Medical rose as Morgan Stanley upgraded the medical device maker to overweight from equal weight.
Boston Scientific gained as Oppenheimer upgraded the medical device maker to overweight from equal weight with a price target of $15.
Priceline.com rose. The company announced a partnership with General Motors, launching a hotel booking service available through the new Chevrolet AppShop.
Walgreen moved higher after reporting December sales rose 7.2 percent.
Pandora Media gained ground after data showed its share of total radio listening climbed to 8.6 percent in December, from 8.4 percent in November.
Sirius XM Holdings rose. Ralph Nader said Liberty Media Chairman John Malone's offer to buy out the remaining stake in the satellite radio company was "ludicrous" and called for Carl Icahn to take notice.
Select Comfort fell after issuing a fourth-quarter earnings warning, reflecting a weak holiday shopping season. Rivals Temper Sealy International and Mattress Firm fell in sympathy.
SolarCity rose after Goldman Sachs added the solar panel maker to its conviction buy list. ReneSola also gained after it secured a contract to supply solar panels to a solar project developer in Japan. But First Solar fell after Goldman downgraded its stock to sell from buy.
Sarepta Therapeutics slid after Citi downgraded the stock to sell from neutral with a $13 price target.
National Oilwell Varco rose after a positive article in Barron's, which said shares of the maker of offshore-drilling gear could rise 30 percent in the next year.
Verso Paper surged after the coated paper maker said it would buy privately held NewPage Holdings for about $900 million in cash and Verso bonds.
(Read More: See CNBC's Market Insider Blog)
—By CNBC's Rich Fisherman.
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