Updated from 5:56 a.m. EDT
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Here are five things you must know for Thursday, June 8:
1. -- U.S. stock futures were rising Thursday ahead of a potential triple threat of events: testimony from former FBI director James Comey before the Senate Intelligence Committee; a general election in the U.K.; and a European Central Bank policy meeting.
Stocks in the U.S. rose on Wednesday but in noncommittal trading as Wall Street looked to Thursday. The S&P 500 rose 0.15%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.18%, and the Nasdaq rose 0.36%.
In prepared testimony released on Wednesday, Comey detailed his numerous meetings with Donald Trump since January. Comey said he had not told Trump that he would cease investigations into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn despite Trump's request. Comey also said that Trump had said, "I need loyalty. I expect loyalty." Comey based his testimony on his recollections and a series of memos composed after several meetings.
Following this opening statement on Thursday, Comey will answer questions from the Senate Intelligence Committee. Trump fired Comey in May while the FBI was investigating the Trump transition team's ties to Russia.
European stocks turned mixed on Thursday after trading higher earlier in the session. Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.07% as voters head to the polls for what is either an election that is too close to call or a formality that will deliver a decisive majority for Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party.
Investors were playing it cautiously ahead of the ECB's interest rate decision later Thursday. ECB President Mario Draghi and his colleagues on the Governing Council aren't expected to make any changes to the bank's three main interest rates, all of which sit at record lows, but could provide the market with guidance as to how, and when, they play to withdraw the billions in stimulus they've had in place for more than two years.
2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Thursday includes weekly Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m. EDT.
Oil prices in the U.S. early Thursday gained 0.7% to $46.03 a barrel as crude rebounded from a slump of more than 5% in the previous session. Crude prices tumbled on Wednesday following a surprise increase in domestic crude stockpiles.
Sirius XM is negotiating a private investment in public equity after talks about Sirius XM acquiring Pandora in its entirety ended unsuccessfully over price disagreements, the sources told Reuters.
If the negotiations between Sirius XM and Pandora work out, the deal would come after private-equity firm KKR & Co. (KKR) - Get Report agreed last month to invest $150 million in Pandora.
KKR's agreement gave Pandora 30 days to look for an alternative deal. This period expires on Thursday, and so Sirius XM was racing late on Wednesday to beat that deadline and clinch its own investment in Pandora, the sources told Reuters.
Pandora shares rose 2.6% in premarket trading while Sirius fell 0.4%.
4. -- Verizon Communications (VZ) - Get Report could shed up to 1,000 jobs from its Oath digital media unit after closing the $4.48 billion purchase of Yahoo! (YHOO) , according to reports.
Oath will include Yahoo! and its properties, AOL, Huffington Post and other brands.
Verizon and AOL didn't comment specifically on potential layoffs on Wednesday, but acknowledged that changes will come.
"With access to over 1 [billion] consumers upon close, we will be positioned to drive one of the most important platforms in the consumer brand space," an AOL spokesperson said. "Consistent with what we have said since the deal was announced, we will be aligning our global organization to the strategy."
Shareholders of Yahoo! vote on the Verizon transaction Thursday at a special meeting in Santa Clara, Calif.
5. -- Alibaba (BABA) - Get Report shares were rising 11.6% in premarket trading, suggesting the stock would open at a record high, after China's biggest e-commerce company forecast another massive surge in full year revenue.
Alibaba Chief Financial Officer Maggie Wu said annual sales will rise between 45% and 49% in the 2018 fiscal year, a figure that topped analysts' forecasts and implies revenue of up to $34.3 billion, well ahead of the $31.42 billion expected, according to a Bloomberg survey.
Like its American competitor Amazon, Alibaba has diversified its offerings beyond online retailing to cloud-computing and streaming media as China's economy slows. That said, it will still trail Amazon's $136 billion in annual sales, but is nonetheless growing its top line at twice the pace of its rival.
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