2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. Thursday includes weekly jobless claims, international trade data for January, and fourth-quarter productivity figures, all at 8:30 a.m. EST.
3. -- U.S. stocks on Wednesday finished mixed but the Dow Jones Industrial Average broke its record-high closing for a second-straight day after a better-than-expected ADP employment report. The Dow rose 42.47 points, or 0.3%, to close at 14,296.24. The S&P 500 rose 1.67 points, or 0.11%, to finish at 1,541.46. The Nasdaq closed off 1.76 point, or 0.05%, at 3,222.37.
4. -- Carl Icahn reportedly has acquired a stake of about 100 million shares in Dell (DELL), giving the activist investor a roughly 6% ownership in the PC maker. People familiar with the situation told CNBC that Icahn has met with advisers for Dell's special committee and urged them to pursue a leveraged recapitalization of the company, rather than the $13.65 a share leveraged buyout by Michael Dell and Silver lake that has been agreed to.
5. -- Time Warner (TWX - Get Report) plans to spin off Time Inc., the magazine unit that publishes Time, Sports Illustrated and People, into a separate company. The spinoff likely will take place by the end of 2013.
6. -- The National Transportation Safety Board plans to issue an "interim factual report" at 11 a.m. Thursday on its investigation into a battery fire aboard a Japan Airlines Boeing (BA - Get Report) 787 Dreamliner plane on Jan. 7, Reuters reported.