Here are 10 things you should know for Thursday, July 3:
1. -- U.S. stock futures were rising Thursday ahead of the U.S. jobs report for June.
European stocks were higher in early trading, hours before a meeting of the European Central Bank. Asian stocks finished the session mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.1%.
2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Thursday includes the nonfarm payrolls report for June at 8:30 a.m. EDT, initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m., the trade balance for May at 8:30 a.m., and the ISM Services Index for June at 10 a.m.
Nonfarm payrolls probably increased by 212,000 in June after rising 217,000 in May, according to economists surveyed by Reuters. The unemployment rate is forecast to remain steady at 6.3%.
3. -- U.S. stocks on Wednesday finished mixed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average nudged 0.12% higher to 16,976.24, while the S&P 500 added 0.07% to close at 1,974.61. The Nasdaq slipped 0.02% to 4,457.73.
4. -- Advisers to Lululemon Athletica (LULU - Get Report) founder Dennis "Chip" Wilson have been sounding out private-equity firms, including Leonard Green & Partners, about taking the yoga-gear maker private, people familiar with the situation told The Wall Street Journal.
No deal is in the works, according to the Journal, and buyout-industry insiders said such a transaction would face significant hurdles, given the premium that would be required atop the company's $6 billion market capitalization. But the effort shows that Wilson is actively exploring options as he seeks to exert more influence over how Lululemon is run, the Journal noted.
Though he remains a director, Wilson relinquished his role as CEO in 2005 and stepped down as chairman in May.
5. -- General Motors (GM - Get Report) plans to soon begin an effort to sell high-speed Internet service to buyers of cars across all its lines, the Journal reported.
The campaign is the first time that GM, the nation's largest automaker, has promoted one electronics technology across its Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC brands. The Wi-Fi option would allow 2015 model year vehicles to link up to seven cellphones, laptops and other gadgets to the Internet, according to the Journal.
GM is making its 4G LTE and Wi-Fi hot spot option the centerpiece to an effort to challenge Ford's (F) Sync, which offers Wi-Fi access and voice-activated calling, music and navigation controls.
6. -- Volkswagen is preparing to launch a takeover bid for Paccar (PCAR), the U.S. truck maker, next year, Daimler Trucks Chief Wolfgang Bernhard told analysts at Bernstein Research, Reuters reported.
According to a Bernstein Research note published on Thursday, Bernhard insisted that "serious, multiple sources" informed him that VW was going to bid for Paccar next year.
Volkswagen denied it was planning an acquisition of Paccar.
"There is no truth" in such assertions, a spokesman told Dow Jones Business News.
Prior to working for Daimler, Bernhard was on Volkswagen's management board from 2005 to 2007.
7. -- Facebook (FB) is delving deeper into online advertising with its purchase of LiveRail, a company specializing in video advertising.
LiveRail boasts an impressive client list the likes of ABC Family, Gannett, Dailymotion and Major League Baseball.
The startup acts as something of a middleman, its video supply-side platform helping to connect video publishers with suitable and relevant advertising material. The company currently facilitates 7 billion video advertisements to online audiences each month.
A source told TechCrunch that Facebook paid between $400 million and $500 million for LiveRail.
8. -- Dov Charney, the ousted chief and founder of American Apparel (APP), reached an agreement with Standard General on Friday to buy American Apparel shares from the firm, boosting his holdings to 43% from 27%. But the arrangement also gave Standard General control over Charney's stock, the Journal reported.
"This transaction is not about the founder, nor is it an endorsement of him," Standard General said in a letter to its investors. The firm said it has opened a dialogue with American Apparel's board in the hopes of resolving the conflict amicably.
Charney entered into the agreement with Standard General because he trusted its judgment and intention to preserve the company's sweatshop-free manufacturing, a person familiar with his thinking told the Journal.
9. -- Target (TGT) is "respectfully" asking its customers to not bring firearms into its stores, even where it is allowed by law.
In a statement posted Wednesday on the retailer's corporate blog, interim CEO John Mulligan said that Target wants a "safe and inviting" atmosphere for its shoppers and employees.
"This is a complicated issue, but it boils down to a simple belief: Bringing firearms to Target creates an environment that is at odds with the family-friendly shopping and work experience we strive to create," he said.
In many states, carrying unconcealed guns in public is legal.
10. -- Arthur strengthened to a hurricane early Thursday and threatened to give North Carolina a glancing blow on Independence Day.
Forecasters expect Arthur to whip past the state's Outer Banks on Friday without making landfall.
Arthur is the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season.
-- Written by Joseph Woelfel
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