2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. Thursday includes weekly initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. EDT.
3. -- U.S. stocks on Wednesday finished higher, with the S&P 500 setting another record high as the Federal Reserve indicated it will maintain its asset buying program for the foreseeable future. The S&P 500 added 1.2% to 1,587.73, shattering its intraday record of 1,576.09 set in October 2007. The Dow Jones Industrial Average move higher by 0.9% to 14,802.24 while the Nasdaq gained 1.8% to 3,297.25.
4. -- Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) is developing a new lineup of its Surface tablets, including a 7-inch version expected to go into mass production later this year, people familiar with the company's plans told The Wall Street Journal. One person familiar with Microsoft's product plans told the newspaper that the 7-inch tablets weren't part of the company's strategy last year, but Microsoft executives realized they needed a response to the growing popularity of smaller tablets like Google's (GOOG) 7-inch Nexus, and Apple's (AAPL) 7.9-inch iPad Mini.
5. -- T-Mobile USA raised its bid for MetroPCS (PCS) in what it called its "best and final offer." The announcement from T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom (DT) was made late Wednesday. Deutsche Telekom said the original offer had T-Mobile USA contributing $15 billion in shareholder loans to the combined company. The new offer reduces those loans to $11.2 billion, "significantly increasing the equity value of the combined company."
6. -- Chevron (CVX - Get Report) said Wednesday its oil and gas production in the U.S. fell by 11,000 barrels a day, or 2%, in the first two months of the year compared with the year-earlier fourth quarter. The oil giant said U.S. production slipped because of maintenance on production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.
7. -- Costco Wholesale (COST - Get Report), the warehouse retailer, said same-store sales in March rose 4%, which was below analysts' forecasts of a rise of 5.2%.
8. -- Toyota (TM), Honda (HMC) and Nissan are recalling more than 2 million vehicles globally for a defective airbag problem. The airbags were made by Japan's Takata.