Here are 10 things you should know for Friday, Jan. 3:
1.-- U.S. stock futures were trading flat Friday after markets kicked off 2014 with losses on Thursday.
European stocks were higher. Asian shares declined Friday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 2.3%. The Nikkei in Tokyo was closed.
2.-- The economic calendar in the U.S. Friday includes natural gas inventories for the week ended Dec. 28, 2013, at 10:30 a.m. EST, and crude inventories for the same week at 11 a.m.
3.-- U.S. stocks fell on Thursday, the first trading day of 2014, amid signs of slowing manufacturing in China and as investors accepted the likelihood that the next 12 months won't match 2013, a year in which S&P 500 soared 29.6%, the most since 1997.
The S&P 500 fell 0.89% on Thursday to close at 1,831.98, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.82% to 16,441.35. The Nasdaq declined 0.8% to finish at 4,143.07.
4.-- The U.S. Senate scheduled a vote for Monday on the appointment of Janet Yellen as the Federal Reserve's next chair.
The Senate is expected to vote at around 5:30 p.m. on Monday, a Senate Democratic leadership aide told Reuters.
Yellen would become the first woman to chair the U.S. central bank. She would become chief on Feb. 1, one day after Ben Bernanke ends his two-term stint.
-- Boeing (BA)
machinists are voting Friday on whether to accept a contract that would concede some pension and health care benefits in order to secure assembly of the company's new 777X airplane in Washington.
Voting is expected to run through 6 p.m. Friday, with results to be announced later in the night.
Boeing has been exploring the prospect of building the 777X outside of the Seattle area.
Local union officials urged their 30,000 members to oppose the deal, arguing that the proposal surrenders too much of workers' pension benefits at a time of company profitability.
-- General Mills (GIS)
said its original-flavor Cheerios made without genetically modified ingredients will start appearing on store shelves soon.
General Mills said it has been manufacturing the original Cheerios without GMOs for the past several weeks in response to consumer demand. It did't specify exactly when those boxes would be on sale.
Original Cheerios now will be labeled as "Not Made With Genetically Modified Ingredients," although that it isn't an official certification, The Associated Press
reported. The labels also will note that trace amounts of GMO ingredients could be present due to the manufacturing process, said a company spokesman.
7.-- FireEye (FEYE) shares rose 24% to $51 in after-hours trading on Thursday after announcing it will acquire computer forensics company Mandiant for $1.05 billion in cash and stock, reported preliminary fourth-quarter results, and raised 2014 revenue guidance based on the acquisition.
Mandiant is best known for revealing a Chinese military unit that was reportedly behind several hacking attacks on U.S. companies.
8.-- Snapchat said Thursday it plans to issue a more secure version of its application after online usernames and partial phone numbers of 4.6 million users of Snapchat were posted online.
Snapchat said in a blog post lthat the updated version of its app would allow users to opt out of its "Find Friends" feature, which was apparently at the heart of the security breach.
9.-- BlackBerry (BBRY) will part ways with musician Alicia Keys at the end of January, the smartphone maker announced on Thursday.
BlackBerry hired Keys as its global creative director in the early part of 2013, announcing her position at the launch event for BlackBerry 10.
In a statement the company said, "BlackBerry and Alicia Keys have completed our yearlong collaboration."
10.-- Facebook (FB) is facing a class-action lawsuit over claims the social networking giant monitors users' private messages to sell the data to advertisers, The Financial Times reported.
The plaintiffs alleged Facebook systematically intercepts private messages to obtain data it shares with marketers, giving the company an advantage over other data aggregators, the FT reported.
Facebook said it believes "the allegations are without merit and we will defend ourselves vigorously."
-- Written by Joseph Woelfel
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