Morning Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know - TheStreet

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- U.S. stock futures were pointing lower Thursday on weak trade figures from Japan and a contraction in factory output in China.

European stocks were falling, while Asian shares finished Thursday's trading session with losses. Japan's Nikkei 225 index declined 1.6% to close at 9,086.98.

Japanese exports in August fell 5.8% from a year earlier, and a private survey of manufacturers in China showed that activity dropped again in September.

The economic calendar in the U.S. on Thursday includes weekly initial and continuing jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. EDT, the Philadelphia Fed regional manufacturing activity survey for September at 10 a.m., and leading indicators for August at 10 a.m.

U.S. stocks on Wednesday finished with slight gains, buoyed by another batch of encouraging housing data and an unexpected easing of monetary policy by Japan's central bank.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

closed up 13 points, or 0.10%, to end at 13,578. The index is up more than 11% year to date.

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

has set a target of cutting 16,000 jobs by the end of 2012 as it accelerates a broad cost-cutting plan,

The Wall Street Journal

reported.

The job cuts were outlined in a document given to top management, and are part of a larger effort to retool the bank into a leaner and more focused enterprise amid an environment of declining revenue.

Oracle

(ORCL) - Get Report

is expected to report its fiscal first-quarter results after Thursday's closing bell and analysts expect the software maker to post a profit of 53 cents a share in the August-ended period on revenue of $8.42 billion.

Adobe Systems

(ADBE) - Get Report

, the publishing and design software developer, posted an in-line profit Wednesday for its fiscal third quarter but revenue of $1.081 billion was below the consensus view of $1.103 billion.

For its fourth quarter ending in November, Adobe forecast non-GAAP earnings of 53 cents to 58 cents a share, far short of the average analysts' view for a profit of 67 cents a share.

Railroad

Norfolk Southern

(NSC) - Get Report

said Wednesday its third-quarter earnings would be lower than a year earlier amid weaker shipments of coal and merchandise.

The earnings docket Thursday includes

CarMax

(KMX) - Get Report

,

ConAgra Foods

(CAG) - Get Report

,

Jefferies

(JEF) - Get Report

,

Rite Aid

(RAD) - Get Report

,

Scholastic

(SCHS)

,

Cintas Corp.

(CTAS) - Get Report

,

DynaVox

(DVOX)

and

TIBCO Software

(TIBX)

.

British Sky Broadcasting

is a "fit and proper" company to hold an operating license, U.K. regulators said Thursday in response to the phone hacking scandal that engulfed parent company

News Corp.

(NWSA) - Get Report

.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

>To contact the writer of this article, click here:

Joseph Woelfel

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