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) -- Here are 10 things you should know for Thursday, April 25:



U.S. stock futures

were eyeing a higher open Thursday ahead of a slate of earnings reports from companies including

Exxon Mobil







and prior to a report from the U.S. government that is predicted to show a dip in joblessness.


-- The

economic calendar

in the U.S. Thursday includes initial jobless claims for the week ended April 20 at 8:30 a.m. EDT.



U.S. stocks

on Wednesday finished mixed.


S&P 500

closed unchanged at 1,578.79. The index has gained 11% this year. The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

fell 0.3% to 14,676.30, while the


added 0.01% to 3,269.65.



Verizon Communications


hired advisers to prepare a possible cash and stock bid of $100 billion to take full control of

Verizon Wireless

from joint venture partner



, two people familiar with the matter told



Verizon owns 55% of Verizon Wireless. It has yet to put forward a proposal to Vodafone but it has hired both banking and legal advisers for a possible bid, the sources said.

Verizon hopes to start discussions with Vodafone soon for a friendly deal but could take a bid public if Vodafone doesn't engage in talks, one of the sources told




-- Analysts expect oil giant

Exxon Mobil


on Thursday to post first-quarter profit of $2.05 a share on revenue of $119.83 billion.

In last year's first quarter, Exxon, the world's most valuable company, earned $9.45 billion, or $2 a share, on revenue of $124 billion.



Dow Chemical


on Thursday said first-quarter earnings rose 33% from a year earlier to $550 million, or 46 cents a share.

Adjusted earnings in the quarter were 69 cents a share.

Net sales in the quarter fell to $14.4 billion from $14.7 billion a year earlier.




, the online retailer, is expected by Wall Street on Thursday to post first-quarter earnings of 8 cents a share on revenue of $16.14 billion.

For the same quarter last year, the company earned 28 cents a share on revenue of $13.2 billion.

Amazon's report is scheduled for after the markets close on Thursday.





is forecast to report after Thursday's closing bell fiscal second-quarter earnings of 48 cents a share on sales of $3.59 billion.



United Parcel Service


is seen by Wall Street posting profit of $1.01 a share in the first quarter on revenue of $13.46 billion.





predicted losses per share in the second quarter on Wednesday as the

online social games maker

struggles to adapt to consumers' growing taste for mobile-based games.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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Joseph Woelfel

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