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August 14 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Here are 10 things you should know for Thursday, Aug. 14:

1. -- U.S. stock futures were edging slightly up going into Thursday's trading session, contradicting a soft European market and disappointing retail sales announced Wednesday.

European stocks showed moderate losses in the face of GDP stagnation and possible deflation.

2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Thursday includes reports on initial jobless claims from the Department of Labor at 8:30 a.m. and figures on imports and exports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, also at 8:30 a.m.

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3. -- U.S. stocks on Wednesday ignored geopolitics for a day and turned instead to global growth prospects, stoking confidence that the bull market is here to stay even without the support of the Fed.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) closed up 0.55% to 16,651.80. The S&P 500 (SPY) rose 0.67% to 1,946.72. The Nasdaq (QQQ) closed up 1.02% to 4,434.13.

4. -- Cisco Systems (CSCO), the networking hardware company, will cut 6,000 jobs due to uncertainty over emerging markets. Cisco has aggressively cut jobs before: 11,000 were fired in 2011, 1,200 in 2012, and 4,000 in 2013.

Revenue was flat over the fourth quarter, at $12.4 billion, and earnings per share were 43 cents on a GAAP basis, and 55 cents on a non-GAAP basis, Cisco announced.

Shares were down 1.15% in premarket trading to $24.91. Overall, the stock is up 12.4% year to date. 

5. -- Flight attendants for Virgin Atlantic, the last nonunion airline in the U.S., have voted to join the Transportation Workers Union. Virgin Atlantic announced that it had filed for an IPO a month ago. 58% of flight attendants voted to unionize.

On Tuesday the airline reported a $37 million profit for the quarter, up from a loss of $22 million in the prior quarter. 

6. -- Burger King (BKW) announced lower-calorie French fries last year to much fanfare, but less than a year later the "Satisfries" are being pulled from most menus in its 7,371 North American stores. Satisfries clock in at 270 calories a small box, compared to 340 calories in a standard-issue small order of French fries. 100 million people have ordered the healthier fries, but sales didn't live up to the hype.

The failure of the healthier fries highlights the quandary of fast food companies like Burger King, McDonald's (MCD) and Yum! Brands (YUM), which are criticized for unhealthy offerings, yet find sales for healthier food to be disappointing.

Burger King shares were flat before the market open. Meanwhile McDonald's shares were up 0.2% to $94.15.

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