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5 Things You Should Know Before the Stock Market Opens

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were falling Thursday, following a second-straight day of declines on Wall Street after a weaker-than-expected report on durable-goods orders.

European stocks were slipping Thursday, while Asian stocks tumbled. Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.7% to 10,114.79 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 1.3%.

The U.S. economic calendar in the U.S. Thursday includes weekly initial and continuing jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. EDT, and the third reading on fourth-quarter gross domestic product.

Economists are calling for initial claims to come in at 350,000, slightly higher than last week's 348,000 total, and for the GDP estimate to remain unchanged at 3%.


Facebook reportedly is set to go public in May.

The social networking giant is targeting May for its initial public offering, according to The Wall Street Journal, which cited a source close to the matter.

Facebook, which has 845 million users, could raise as much as $10 billion in the offering.

It was reported on Wednesday by Bloomberg that Facebook will soon halt trading of its shares on secondary markets such as SharesPost and SecondMarket.


Best Buy (BBY - Get Report), the electronics retailer, is expected by analysts Thursday to post fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $2.16 a share on revenue of $17.2 billion.

Same-store sales are seen dipping 0.6% in the February-ended period.

UBS kept a neutral rating on Best Buy on Wednesday but lifted its price target to $27 from $25, saying it expects the company to announce more steps to reduce costs.


Research In Motion (RIMM), the troubled BlackBerry maker, is expected by analysts to report quarterly earnings of 82 cents a share, which is below the company's own expectation for earnings of 85 cents to 90 cents a share.

RIM is working toward the release of its next-generation handset, the BlackBerry 10, in the second half of this year.

Shares of RIM have fallen 4% so far in 2012.


In IPO action on Wednesday, Rexnord Holdings, the industrial parts maker, sold 23.7 million shares for $18 a share, which was at the low end of the expected range.

Millennial Media, the mobile advertising company, sold 10.2 million shares at $13 a share, above the expected range.

Cafepress, the print-on-demand Web site, sold 4.5 million shares in its IPO at $19 a share, higher than the expected range.


-- Written by Joseph Woelfel



>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Joseph Woelfel

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

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