Here are five things you must know for Thursday, Dec. 13:
1. -- Stocks Rise as U.S.-China Trade Tensions Ease
U.S. stock futures were mixed on Thursday, Dec. 13, and shares in Asia closed higher as trade tensions eased between the U.S. and China, the world's two largest economies.
Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 19 points, futures for the S&P 500 gained 0.75 points, and Nasdaq futures were up 12.25 points.
The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that China was drafting a replacement for Made in China 2025 - President Xi's blueprint to make the country a leader in high-tech industries - which would play down China's bid to dominate manufacturing and be more open to participation by foreign companies. Reuters, meanwhile, reported that China on Wednesday made its first major purchases of U.S. soybeans since Donald Trump and Xi struck a trade war truce earlier this month.
In the U.K., the pound on Wednesday maintained gains it made after U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May survived a leadership challenge. She will remain in office as the head of her ruling Conservative Party and renew attempts to push a controversial Brexit deal through parliament despite widespread disapproval from opposition lawmakers and party colleagues.
In the U.S., the economic calendar Thursday includes weekly Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m. ET and Import and Export Prices for November at 8:30 a.m.
2. -- Apple to Invest $1 Billion for New Campus in Austin, Texas
Apple Inc. (AAPL) said Thursday it would invest $1 billion to build a new campus in Austin, Texas, and the tech giant also announced plans to establish new sites in Seattle, San Diego and Culver City, Calif.
Apple also said it would expand in Pittsburgh, New York and Boulder, Colo., over the next three years, "with the potential for additional expansion elsewhere in the U.S. over time."
The new Austin campus will be located less than a mile from its existing facilities, Apple said. The 133-acre campus initially will accommodate 5,000 additional employees - Apple now employs 6,000 in Austin - with the capacity to grow to 15,000.
Apple said jobs created at the new campus will include a "broad range of functions including engineering, R&D, operations, finance, sales and customer support."
Separately, Apple's suppliers reportedly have considered shifting iPhone production out of China if tariffs reach 25%, according to Bloomberg. Apple and its suppliers plan to stick with their existing production process even if a tariff of 10% is levied on Apple devices manufactured in China. But if those tariffs increase to 25%, as the Trump administration has considered, the companies could shift some production out of China, which has long served as the manufacturing base for iPhones.
Apple shares rose 0.2% in premarket trading.
3. -- Japan's SoftBank to Replace Equipment From China's Huawei
Japan's SoftBank Group Corp. (SFTBY) will replace equipment from Huawei Technologies Co. in its 4G telecommunications network infrastructure with hardware made by Ericsson (ERIC) and Nokia Corp. (NOK) , according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
The decision, according to Nikkei, reflects rising security concerns over potential leaks of sensitive information, system shutdowns and other risks involved in using Chinese telecommunications equipment. The Japanese government has looked to restrict the public sector from procuring Chinese communications equipment.
The hardware will be replaced over the next few years. SoftBank is the only telecom carrier in Japan that uses Huawei equipment.
SoftBank also is expected to place orders with the two European companies for its 5G networks, Nikkei reported.
Huawei already has been banned in the U.S. after being sanctioned for alleged dealings with Iran.
4. -- Judge Reportedly Could Delay Integration of CVS-Aetna
U.S. District Judge Richard Leon is likely to block CVS Health Corp. (CVS) from combining with Aetna Inc. at a hearing next Tuesday, the New York Post reported, citing sources close to the case.
The judge griped earlier this month that CVS and Aetna treated him like a "rubber stamp" because they already had closed the deal before it arrived at his desk, the Post noted.
"I expect Leon to issue some kind of an injunctive order to keep them from integrating," a source close to the case told the Post.
Such a ruling begin a procedural saga that might delay the $69 billion merger for months, rather than the weeks that most investors anticipated, insiders said, the Post reported.
5. -- Boy Scouts of America Considers Filing for Bankruptcy
The Boy Scouts of America is considering filing for bankruptcy protection as it faces dwindling membership and escalating legal costs related to lawsuits over how it handled allegations of sex abuse.
Leaders of the Boy Scouts, one of the country's largest youth organizations, have hired law firm Sidley Austin LLP for assistance with a possible chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.