Updated from 6:47 a.m. EDT
Here are 10 things you should know for Thursday, May 15:
1. -- U.S. stock futures were flat Thursday ahead of a deluge of data and earnings reports from major retailers.
European stocks were little changed after data revealed that the eurozone economy expanded 0.2% quarterly and 0.9% for the year, which was below expectations.
Asian shares ended the session mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.8%.
2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Thursday includes weekly initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. EDT, the Consumer Price Index for April at 8:30 a.m., the Empire State Manufacturing Index for May at 8:30 a.m., industrial production and capacity utilization for April at 9:15 a.m., The Philadelphia Fed Index for May at 10 a.m., and the NAHB Housing Market Index for May at 10 a.m.
3. -- U.S. stocks on Wednesday fell after posting two days of record highs.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.61% to 16,613.97, while the S&P 500 fell 0.47% to 1,888.53. The Nasdaq fell 0.72% to 4,100.63.
4. -- Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis, maintained in an interview with Jim Cramer that he didn't gift the banks a $185 billion credit line to make money for taxpayers.
Geithner's memoir, "Stress Test," will be published next week.
5. -- The world's biggest retailer, Walmart (WMT - Get Report), reported first-quarter earnings of $1.11 a share, down from $1.14 a year earlier.
Income from continuing operations was $1.10 a share. The company said bad weather hurt earnings by about 3 cents a share.
Analysts on Wall Street were looking for earnings of $1.15 a share.
Revenue rose 1% to $114.96 billion but came in below forecasts.
Walmart issued a second-quarter earnings forecast below analysts' estimates.
The stock fell 3.2% in premarket trading to $76.22.
Cisco reported revenue of $11.5 billion, down from $12.2 billion a year earlier but above analysts' forecasts of $11.36 billion. Excluding items, Cisco earned 51 cents a share, the same as the prior year's quarter. Analysts were looking for earnings of 48 cents a share.
"I'm pleased with our performance in Q3," said Cisco CEO John Chambers, in a statement. "Our financial results exceeded the guidance we provided last quarter as we demonstrated clear progress on returning to growth."
Cisco shares rose 6.8% in premarket trading to $24.35.
7. -- J.C. Penney (JCP) is forecast to report a first-quarter loss of $1.25 a share on sales of $2.71 billion.
The April-ended quarter will be a big test to determine whether the struggling retailer is ready to set its sights past a turnaround and onto how to will achieve and maintain a profitable future.
8. -- Alstom was trading lower Thursday after the French government issued a decree that gives it new powers to intervene in takeovers. That could derail General Electric's (GE) $15.6 billion bid for Alstom's power unit, an offer the government has said it opposes.
9. -- British cellphone seller Carphone Warehouse and consumer electronics retailer Dixons Retail Group announced plans to merge Thursday in a deal that values the combined business at 3.8 billion pounds ($6.4 billion).
10. -- Labor organizers said protesters will turn out in the U.S. and more than 30 other countries on Thursday in support of higher pay for workers at fast-food chains including McDonald's (MCD), Burger King (BKW) and Yum Brands' (YUM) Taco Bell.
The demonstrations build on a campaign by unions to bring attention to the plight of low-wage workers and get the public behind the idea of a $15-an-hour wage. Businesses have said such a wage would hurt their ability to create jobs.
The campaign comes as President Barack Obama works to raise the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, which translates to about $15,000 a year for a full-time job.
-- Written by Joseph Woelfel