Updated from 6:57 a.m.
Here are 10 things you should know for Thursday, Feb. 25:
1. -- U.S. stock futures were edging higher heading into a major day for earnings, as investors await initial jobless claims data and durable goods order numbers.
European stocks were breaking a two-day losing streak, as they shrugged off a slump in China.
In London, the FTSE 100 was up 1.95%. In Frankfurt, the DAX was up 0.78%, and in Paris, the CAC 40 jumped 1.59%.
2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Thursday includes the jobless claims report at 8:30 a.m., durable goods order data at 8:30 a.m., and the Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index report at 9 a.m.
Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Dennis Lockhart speaks in Atlanta at 8:30 a.m., and San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams speaks at noon in New York.
3. -- U.S. stocks on Wednesday began trading shortly lower, but rose through the day along with the price of oil.
4. -- There were 272,000 new initial jobless claims filed last week, according to the Commerce Department. Economists surveyed by Econoday initially estimated that 270,000 new unemployment claims were filed for last week, as compared to 262,000 new claims filed the prior week -- the lowest number of claims since November.
These numbers are quite low by historical standards, but the bump up in unemployment claims could hurt stock performance.
5. -- Apple (AAPL) - Get Report , the world's largest public company, is facing legal and political pressure to help the FBI break into the iPhone of one of the terrorists in the San Bernardino, Calif., attacks. The company has so far resisted creating a "back door" into its security systems. The problem is that creating a way to open one locked phone would create a "key" that the government or hackers could use to get into other iPhones as well.
Apple is developing even more difficult-to-crack security measures, according to the New York Times, which cited confidential sources. Tech companies like Apple are not subject to federal wiretapping laws presently, though legal cases are pushing phone makers and others to open their technology to investigators. The companies are resisting.
A security update could make Apple's phones more able to block government access and criminal hacking in case the company is forced to or agrees to open a "back door" into its encryption for government investigators in this case.
In premarket trading, Apple stock was flat after a 1.5% rise on Wednesday.
6. -- Foxconn (FXCOF) , a Taiwanese supplier for Apple, will buy Japanese electronics makerSharp (SHCAY) for ¥700 billion ($6.24 billion), the companies announced. Sharp had been struggling with heavy losses.
Foxconn has said it wants to become a larger supplier of smartphone screens. Sharp is a supplier of the screens for the Apple iPhone, as well as a manufacturer of Internet of Things components. After the deal, Foxconn will need to figure out a way to reduce Sharp's losses.
In a surprise move, Foxconn said that Sharp had accepted its offer, but that Foxconn was not ready to sign yet.
7. -- Credit card processor MasterCard (MA) - Get Report said it is developing technology to allow users to take a "selfie" photo with their phones instead of using a password. The company said it was creating more biometric means to sign into accounts and to make payments. Fingerprint scanners and heartbeat checks could also be used to identify a customer.
In premarket trading, Mastercard stock was rising by 0.12%.
8. -- The list of the U.S.'s favorite retailers, compiled by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, put Abercrombie & Fitch at the bottom of the list. The company surveyed 9,358 consumers on their views of companies through six sectors, including retail stores, supermarkets, pharmacies and others.
9. -- United Parcel Service (UPS) - Get Report is entering the same-day delivery market via an investment in the Deliv service. UPS is helping the smaller company with a round of funding and will take a minority stake in the company. Deliv hires contractors, in a similar move to Uber; those contractors make deliveries in 100 cities.
10. -- Earnings are expected Thursday for Alkermes (ALKS) - Get Report , AMC Networks (AMCX) - Get Report , Baidu (BIDU) - Get Report , Best Buy (BBY) - Get Report , Campbell Soup (CPB) - Get Report , Herbalife (HLF) - Get Report , Kraft Heinz (KHC) - Get Report , Retrophin (RTRX) - Get Report , Sears Holdings (SHLD) and Zoe's Kitchen (ZOES) .