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Morning Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Here are 10 things you should know for Wednesday, Aug. 28:

1. -- U.S. stock futures were pointing to slight gains Wednesday following sharp losses Tuesday on the growing likelihood that the U.S. and U.K. will launch military action against Syria for its alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians.

Oil prices soared. Benchmark oil for October delivery rose $1.03 to $110.04 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil jumped $3.09 Tuesday to $109.01 a barrel, the highest closing price since February 2012.

European stocks were trading lower while Asian shares ended Wednesday's session with losses. Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 1.5%.

2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. Wednesday includes pending home sales for July at 10 a.m. EDT.

3. -- U.S. stocks on Tuesday tumbled on reports the U.S. may spearhead a multi-country military intervention against Syria this week in response to evidence of chemical weapons.

The S&P 500 dropped 1.6% to close 1,630.48, the largest drop since June 20 when the benchmark index fell 2.5%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 1.1% to 14,776.48 while the Nasdaq declined 2.2% to 3,578.52.

4. -- Federal regulators are seeking a $6 billion payment from JP Morgan Chase (JPM - Get Report) to settle allegations of falsely claiming loans sold to government-sponsored enterprises met required underwriting standards, according to the Financial Times.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency regulates Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FMCC), and in 2011 sued J.P. Morgan and 17 other banks over misrepresentations of the quality of mortgage loans sold to the two mortgage giants.

JPMorgan is resisting the payment, which would be its single biggest penalty in a string of expensive run-ins with U.S. authorities and one of the largest post-financial crisis settlements by any bank, people familiar with the discussions told the Financial Times.

5. -- A hacker group calling itself the "Syrian Electronic Army" claimed responsibility for hacking the Web sites of Twitter and The New York Times, which is owned by New York Times Co. (NYT - Get Report).

A Times official said the hacking incident was "most likely result of malicious external attack.''

Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy made the announcement in a tweet at 4:26 p.m. EDT. The site stopped functioning at about 3 p.m. The site was back online about 6:40 p.m.

6. -- Joy Global (JOY - Get Report), the mining-equipment manufacturer, is expected by analysts on Wednesday to post fiscal third-quarter earnings of $1.37 a share on revenue of $1.18 billion.

7. -- Guess? (GES - Get Report), the jeans maker, is forecast to report second-quarter earnings of 36 cents a share on revenue of $622.9 million.
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