Here are 10 things you should know for Thursday, Dec. 12:
1.-- U.S. stock futures were pointing higher Thursday, following the stock market's biggest loss in five weeks on Wednesday.
European shares were trading flat to lower; Asian stocks ended Thursday's session with losses on continued fears the Federal Reserve will trim monetary stimulus for the U.S. economy as early as next week. Japan's Nikkei 225 index declined 1.1%.
2.-- The economic calendar in the U.S. Thursday includes weekly initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. EST, retail sales for November at 8:30 a.m., export and import prices for November at 8:30 a.m., and business inventories for October at 10 a.m.
3.-- U.S. stocks on Wednesday fell amid growing speculation the Federal Reserve will curb its stimulus program after an apparent political deal on the U.S. budget alleviated concerns about another government shutdown.
The S&P 500 fell 1.13% to close at 1,782.22 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.81% to 15,843.53. The Nasdaq slipped 1.4% to 4,003.81.
4.-- House Republicans rallied behind a modest, two-year budget deal, planning to bring it to a vote Thursday.
The measure seemed sure to pass, despite unhappiness from House Democrats who were cut out of the talks and also upset that it didn't contain a provision to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed.
The deal House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., negotiated with Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., would preserve the bulk of tough agency spending cuts the GOP won in a 2011 showdown with President Obama, while greatly reducing the chances of another partial government shutdown.
5.-- JPMorgan Chase (JPM - Get Report) is expected to pay more than $1 billion in penalties to the Justice Department to end a criminal probe into whether it provided adequate warnings about Bernard Madoff, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The deal, which also would include a deferred-prosecution agreement with U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, could be wrapped up by the end of year, those close to the case told the newspaper. Prosecutors have been looking for whether JPMorgan failed to alert regulators despite numerous red flags. A central component of the case is why the bank didn't provide a formal report raising concerns about Madoff in the U.S. despite filing such a document with U.K. authorities, the Journal reported.
6.-- Stanley Fischer has been asked by President Obama to be the next vice chair of the Federal Reserve, once Janet Yellen takes over as chief of the central bank, reports said.
Fischer led the Bank of Israel for eight years until he stepped down in June. He has dual citizenship in the U.S. and Israel.
Fischer, 70, is widely respected as one of the world's top monetary economists, according to a report from Reuters. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he once taught current Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, Reuters noted.
7.-- Hilton Worldwide's initial public offering was priced at $20 a share, in what is poised to be the biggest-ever U.S. hotel IPO.
Earlier this month, Hilton set its initial IPO price range at between $18 and $21 a share. While Hilton will offer its stock just below the high end of that range, the hotel chain increased the offering size.
Hilton will sell 117.6 million common shares at $20 a share, raising $2.35 million. The company will be offering 64.1 million shares, while a selling stockholder will offer 53.5 million shares, Hilton said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Blackstone Group (BX) will remain Hilton's majority owners after the IPO.
8.-- Facebook (FB - Get Report) shares soared in after-hours trading on Wednesday, gaining 4.4% to $51.56, after it was announced the social networking giant would be added to the S&P 500 on Dec. 20.
Facebook also is being added to the S&P 100 index.
The retailer plans to spend at least $300 million on supply chain, technology and online improvements in the fiscal year that begins in February, including building new fulfillment centers and overhauling its warehouse technology systems, the Journal said. The moves are aimed at boosting online sales, including a same-day delivery service aimed at customers and professional contractors.
-- Written by Joseph Woelfel
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