Here are 10 things you should know for Monday, Dec. 16:
1.-- U.S. stock futures were lower on Monday and Asian shares declined ahead of Wednesday's announcement from the Federal Reserve on whether it will reduce economic stimulus for the U.S. economy.
European stocks rose after a closely watched index of manufacturing output beat forecasts.
Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 1.6%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.56%.
2.-- The economic calendar in the U.S. Monday includes the Empire State Manufacturing Index for December at 8:30 a.m. EST, third-quarter productivity and costs data, and capacity utilization and industrial production for November at 9:15 a.m.
3.-- U.S. stocks closed mixed on Friday and fell for the week as concerns of a tapering from the Federal Reserve remained on the table even as some market strategists said a "Santa Claus" could boost shares heading into the new year.
The S&P 500 slipped 0.2% to close at 1,775.32 on Friday while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.1% to finish at 15,755.36. The Nasdaq rose 0.06% to close at 4,000.98.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Sprint is preparing a takeover that could be worth in excess of $20 billion. However, the telecom giant hasn't yet decided whether it will unveil a formal offer. A key issue in any prospective deal would be the blessing of the Justice Department, which rejected AT&T's (T) $39 billion takeover attempt of T-Mobile in 2011.
Sprint shares closed Friday at $8.15 but surged more than 3% in after-hours trading. T-Mobile shares fell 2.4% on Friday but rose almost 7% in the after-hours session.
5.-- American International Group (AIG - Get Report) is in advanced talks to sell its jet-leasing business to AerCap Holdings (AER) for $3 billion in cash and a minority stake in the smaller, Netherlands-based company, people with knowledge of the talks told the Journal.
The minority stake in AerCap is currently worth about $2 billion, the people said, bringing the total price under discussion to roughly $5 billion.
The proposed deal would create the world's largest aircraft-leasing company by fleet size, according to the Journal.
6.-- Google (GOOG) acquired its eighth robotics company this year, buying Boston Dynamics, the engineering company that has designed mobile research robots for the Pentagon.
7.-- Smartphone maker BlackBerry (BBRY) is losing two more high-level executives under the leadership of interim CEO John Chen.
Chris Wormald, head of BlackBerry's mergers and acquisitions, is leaving by the end of December, the Journal reported, while Rick Costanzo, executive vice president of global sales, will depart early in 2014.
8.-- Monday is the highest global pickup day for United Parcel Service (UPS), with about 34 million packages to be picked up across the world, which is double the normal volume. Nearly 29 million of those packages will be delivered on Tuesday.
UPS expects to deliver more than 129 million packages the week before Christmas, Dan McMackin, a UPS spokesman, told USA Today.
9.-- FuelCell Energy (FCEL) is expected by analysts on Monday to post a fiscal fourth-quarter loss of 3 cents a share on revenue of $44.8 million.
10.-- "Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," released by Time Warner's (TWX) Warner Bros. unit, was No. 1 at the weekend box office with $73.7 million, topping last weekend's No. 1 film, Disney's (DIS) animated fable "Frozen."
Despite its first place position, "The Desolation of Smaug" fell short of topping its prequel's debut. "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," which opened this same weekend last year, gained $84.6 million.
-- Written by Joseph Woelfel
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