Here are 10 things you should know for Friday, Jan. 24:
1.-- U.S. stock futures were pointing to a sharply lower open for Wall Street on Friday and European and Asian shares declined on continued concerns over a slowdown in the Chinese economy, the world's second-largest.
Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.9% to close at 15,391.56. The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong declined 1.3%.
2.-- The economic calendar in the U.S. Friday is bare.
3.-- U.S. stocks on Thursday fell sharply as signs of a slowdown in China, the world's second-largest economy, coupled with a mediocre global forecast from McDonald's (MCD) offset data suggesting the U.S. labor market was generally improving.
The S&P 500 declined 0.89% to close at 1,828.46 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 1.07% to finish at 16,197.35. The Nasdaq slipped 0.57% to 4,218.87.
4.-- Billionaire investor Carl Icahn told The Wall Street Journal in an interview Thursday evening that he is prepared for a proxy fight to win two seats on the board of eBay (EBAY) and push the company to split off its PayPal unit.
Icahn told the Journal he expects eBay to resist the proposal, as eBay executives and directors have done so far.
"The company seems to be sort of dug in on the fact they don't want to do the PayPal spinoff," Icahn said. "We hope we don't [have a proxy fight], but if we have to, we will."
Icahn has acquired a stake of nearly 2% in the online retailer. He told the Journal he thinks and independent PayPal could be acquired.
Shares of eBay fell 1% to $54.41 in premarket trading.5.
-- Consumer-products giant Procter & Gamble (PG)
said Friday that fiscal second-quarter net income fell 16% as the company faced tough comparisons from a year earlier, the stronger dollar and flat sales globally.
Adjusted earnings of $1.21 a share, however, topped expectations by a penny.
-- Microsoft (MSFT)
reported fiscal second-quarter earnings and revenue
that topped Wall Street expectations as strong Surface sales growth helped offset continued weakness in Windows OEM.
Microsoft reported earnings of 78 cents a share; analysts were looking for 68 cents. Revenue was $24.52 billion, surpassing expectations of $23.68 billion.
During the quarter, Microsoft's software and services, and hardware segments posted increases.
The company didn't disclose any information on its search for a new CEO
Shares were rising 2.4% in premarket trading to $36.91.
said net profit in the October-December quarter declined from the previous quarter, the first time that has happened in two years.
The maker of Galaxy smartphones said net profit in the period fell 11% from the third quarter to 7.3 trillion won ($6.8 billion).
Samsung's mobile business, which generally contributes about 70% of the company's earnings, posted its smallest profit in a year after sales decreased slightly from the previous three months.
A Samsung spokesman said it will be "challenging" for the company to improve earnings in the first quarter.8.
-- Starbucks (SBUX)
said fourth-quarter profit rose by 25% as it benefited from lower coffee costs and stronger sales around the world.
The coffee company said global sales rose 5% at established locations. However, the sales growth was slower than the increase in the previous quarter, and total sales came in below Wall Street expectations.
Starbucks reaffirmed guidance that sales at established locations will grow in the mid-single digits globally in 2014.
Starbucks rose 1.2% in premarket trading Friday to $74.30.
9.-- Manufacturing conglomerate Honeywell (HON) reported adjusted fourth-quarter earnings of $1.24 a share from $1.10 a year earlier. Analysts expected earnings of $1.21 a share.
Revenue rose to $10.39 billion from $9.58 billion a year earlier; analysts were expecting revenue of $10.19 billion.
Honeywell said Friday it expects fiscal 2014 earnings of $5.35 to $5.55 a share, which is up 8% to 12% from a year earlier.
Shares of Honeywell fell 0.2% in premarket trading.
10.-- Goldman Sachs (GS) is planning to ban traders from using some chat-messaging services in a bid to protect proprietary information. the Journal reported.
Under a new policy, Goldman won't allow person-to-person communication over instant-messaging services created by Bloomberg, Yahoo!, AOL and other third-party providers, the Journal reported, citing a draft of a memo it reviewed.
-- Written by Joseph Woelfel
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