Market Morning: A Flat Start

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stocks on Wall Street look set to open flat Thursday, while European shares were mixed after mining giant Xstrata confirmed it's in merger talks with commodities trader Glencore.

Asian stocks climbed. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 rose 0.8% to close at 8,876.82, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 2%.

In the U.S. on Wednesday, stocks finished higher after strong manufacturing reports from the U.S., Europe and Asia boosted optimism.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 83.3 points, or 0.7%, to 12,716. The S&P 500 climbed 11.7 points, or 0.9%, to 1,324. The Nasdaq rose 34.4 points, or 1.2%, to settle at 2,848.


The economic calendar in the U.S. on Thursday features Challenger Gray's release on corporate layoffs at 7:30 a.m. EST, weekly initial and continuing jobless claims at 8:30 a.m., and the preliminary productivity index and unit labor costs data for the fourth quarter at 8:30 a.m.


Facebook filed to go public on Wednesday with the social networking giant seeking to raise $5 billion in what would be the largest-ever tech IPO.

The 202-page S-1 filing reveals that Morgan Stanley ( MS) will be the lead underwriter for the Facebook IPO, with Goldman Sachs, Barclays Capital, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, J.P. Morgan and Allen & Co. all involved.


Mining company Xstrata confirmed Thursday that it is in merger discussions with commodities trader Glencore International, a deal that would create an industry behemoth with around $175 billion worth of revenue.


Earnings reports are scheduled Thursday from Merck ( MRK), Dow Chemical ( DOW) and MasterCard ( MA).


Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.A), the European oil major, on Thursday posted a modest drop in fourth-quarter profit because of weaker refining operations.

Shell said net profit fell 4.3% to $6.5 billion.

Shell's production arm was helped by higher oil prices. But Europe's largest oil company said its refining arm swung to a loss.


Germany's Deutsche Bank ( DB) said fourth-quarter profit fell 69% to €186 million ($245.06 million), hurt by the eurozone debt crisis.

The bank lost €351 million on a pretax basis.

Deutsche Bank said the debt crisis made investors shy away from riskier investments, leading to reduced revenue from investment banking.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

If you liked this article you might like

The Really Big Money Rushes to Super Bowl

The Really Big Money Rushes to Super Bowl

Wall Street Futures Edge Higher Amid 'Super Thursday' Earnings; Apple Q1 Awaits

Wall Street Futures Edge Higher Amid 'Super Thursday' Earnings; Apple Q1 Awaits

Europe Stocks, US Futures Retreat as Oil, Bond Yields Spike to Test Bulls' Faith

Europe Stocks, US Futures Retreat as Oil, Bond Yields Spike to Test Bulls' Faith

Don't Get Caught Out in the Cold: Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap (Friday 1/5/18)

Don't Get Caught Out in the Cold: Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap (Friday 1/5/18)

Magellan Midstream Partners, Xilinx, B&G Foods: 'Mad Money' Lightning Round

Magellan Midstream Partners, Xilinx, B&G Foods: 'Mad Money' Lightning Round