*Office Depot shares plunge, slashing deal's value. Feb 20- Office Depot Inc will acquire smaller rival OfficeMax Inc in a $976 million all-stock deal, the companies said on Wednesday, confirming an agreement inadvertently announced earlier in the day, before it was completed. Office Depot shares plunged 17 percent, dragging down the value of the deal.
Stocks posted a modest gain in thin, volatile trading Thursday ahead of the jobs report, while worries over the looming "fiscal cliff" continued to linger.
*Starbucks, H&R Block buoy consumer discretionary names. *Dow up 0.3 pct, S&P 500 up 0.3 pct, Nasdaq up 0.5 pct. "Right now we're just drifting, waiting to learn about the cliff and jobs," said Donald Selkin, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York. "
*Apple's stock up 1.4 pct, one day after worst drop since 2008. NEW YORK, Dec 6- U.S. stocks drifted near the unchanged mark on Thursday as investors postponed big bets before the November employment report on Friday, but technology stocks rose on gains in Apple and Broadcom.
*Apple ranking drops to No.6 in China smartphone market. NEW YORK, Dec 6- U.S. stocks were little changed in choppy morning trading on Thursday as upbeat guidance from Broadcom partially offset weakness in Apple shares, while traders kept an eye on fiscal negotiations in Washington.
*Apple's stock up 2 pct on day after worst drop since 2008. *Apple's rank drops to No. 6 in China's smartphone market.
These companies are making headlines after the bell Wednesday: