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Jan. 16 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know (Update 1)

Here are 10 things you should know for Thursday, Jan. 16:  

1.-- U.S. stock futures were falling Thursday after consumer prices rose 0.3% in December and after jobless claims declined for a second straight week.

2.-- Weekly initial jobless claims fell 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 326,000; economists polled by Reuters had expected first-time applications to fall to 328,000 in the week ended Jan. 11.

The Consumer Price Index for December rose 0.3%, the largest increase in six months driven up by higher gas prices. But excluding energy, inflation was tame.

3.-- U.S. stocks on Wednesday rose following a number of encouraging economic reports and an upbeat earnings announcement from financial heavyweight Bank of America  (BAC).

The S&P 500 rose 0.52% to close at 1,848.38, a record high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.66% to 16,481.94, and the Nasdaq finished up 0.76% to 4,214.88.

4.-- Yahoo! (YHOO - Get Report) ousted Chief Operating Officer Henrique de Castro.

De Castro was one of CEO Marissa Mayer's first major hires since coming on board from Google (GOOG), but there have been reports in recent months that the relationship between the two had soured, with de Castro being unable to turn around Yahoo!'s core advertising business.

Yahoo! declined to comment on the reasons for de Castro's exit. Mayer didn't name his replacement.

It's doubtful de Castro would be leaving if he were bringing in the revenue that Mayer envisioned, BGC Financial analyst Colin Gillis told The Associated Press.

"This was one of her key hires and he is already gone," Gillis said. "It doesn't look good."

The stock fell 2.1% to $40.20 in premarket trading on Thursday.

5.-- Citigroup (C - Get Report) reported fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday of 85 cents a share. Excluding one-time and non-core items, earnings came in at 82 cents. Revenue was $17.8 billion or $17.9 billion, excluding items.

Analysts expected EPS of 95 cents on revenue of $18.18 billion.

Citigroup shares fell 3.3% early Thursday to $53.18.

6.-- Goldman Sachs (GS) reported profit of $4.60 a share on revenue of $8.78 billion in the fourth quarter, significantly beating Wall Street estimates.  

Goldman beat estimates on a recovery in the bank's fixed income sales and trading revenue, growth at its investment bank and higher marks to its near-$60 billion portfolio of alternative assets.

Goldman shares fell marginally in premarket trading to $178.60.

7.-- J. C. Penney (JCP) plans to close 33 underperforming stores as part of its continued turnaround strategy, saying it would rather focus its resources on the department store's "highest potential growth opportunities."

The closings, to be completed by early May, will result in the elimination of about 2,000 positions. J. C. Penney had approximately 116,000 full-time and part-time employees, according to its most recent 10-K filing.

J. C. Penney has about 1,100 stores.

The stock fell 2.4% to $6.84 in premarket trading.

8.-- The world's biggest chipmaker Intel (INTC) is forecast to post fourth-quarter earnings of 52 cents a share on revenue of $13.72 billion. 

Intel supplies chips for about four out of every five PC processors, so a consumer shift toward tablets and smartphones has hurt sales.

In the year-earlier quarter, Intel posted a profit of 48 cents a share on revenue of $13.5 billion.

9.-- Microsoft's (MSFT) board is considering Ericsson (ERIC) CEO Hans Vestberg as a potential successor to departing CEO Steve Ballmer, Bloomberg reported, citing people briefed on the search.

Vestberg, the people said, is in the running alongside Microsoft cloud-computing chief Satya Nadella and former Nokia (NOK) CEO Stephen Elop, as well as other outsiders. 

10.-- A small group of technicians at an Amazon (AMZN) distribution center in Delaware voted on Wednesday not to join a union, marking a victory for the online retailer which is strongly opposed to any kind of third-party representation for its employees, Reuters reported.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

To contact the writer of this article, click here:Joseph Woelfel

To submit a news tip, send an email to:tips@thestreet.com.

Follow @josephwoe58

Copyright 2014 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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