2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. Thursday includes the Challenger job cuts report for May at 7:30 a.m. EDT and weekly initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m.
3. -- U.S. stocks on Wednesday fell as a spate of weak economic reports prompted investors to question whether the Federal Reserve's stimulus measures are sufficient to prop up the U.S. economy. The S&P 500 fell 1.4% to close at 1,608.90 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average also declined 1.4% to 14,960.59. The blue-chip index on Wednesday suffered its third biggest percentage drop this year. The Nasdaq lost 1.3% to 3,401.48.
4. -- PepsiCo (PEP - Get Report) is negotiating to buy SodaStream International (SODA - Get Report) for more than $2 billion, according to Israel's Calcalist financial newspaper. The report said Pepsi could be willing to pay as much as $95 a share for SodaStream, which makes at-home carbonation systems. SodaStream went public in 2010. The stock closed Wednesday at $69.35.
5. -- AT&T (T - Get Report) is in discussions with the Chernin Group about mounting a joint bid to acquire the Hulu premium video site, AllThingsD reported, citing sources close to the telecommunications giant. Chernin Group, the investment and media company, is run by former News Corp. (NWSA) Chief Operating Officer Peter Chernin, who was integral to the founding of Hulu, according to AllThingsD.
6. -- The National Security Agency has been collecting the telephone records of millions of U.S. customers of Verizon (VZ - Get Report) under a top secret court order, according to a report in Britain's Guardian newspaper. The order was granted by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on April 25 and is good until July 19, the newspaper reported. The order requires Verizon on an "ongoing, daily basis" to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the U.S. and between the U.S. and other countries.
7. -- General Motors (GM - Get Report) returns to the S&P 500 on Thursday, the same day the automaker will hold its annual shareholders meeting in Detroit.
8. -- Search giant Google (GOOG - Get Report) is scheduled to hold its annual meeting at 5 p.m. at its headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.