5 Things You Should Know Before the Stock Market Opens

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Wall Street looked set to open higher Thursday, following on from gains Wednesday that put the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 8% for the year.

European stocks were mixed while Asian shares closed mostly higher. Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.7% to 10,123.28, its highest close since late July.

Thursday's economic calendar in the U.S. includes weekly jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. EDT; economists are looking for initial claims to come in at 355,000, down slightly from the previous week's 360,000.

Also on the docket are the Empire State manufacturing index for March at 8:30 a.m.; the producer price index report for February at 8:30 a.m.; and the Philly Fed survey at 10 a.m.


JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon, in an internal memo, told employees to resist taking advantage of competitors and to focus instead on strengthening the bank's own standards, Reuters reported.

Dimon's memo was a response to a firestorm created by a resignation letter from a former banker at Goldman Sachs that was published in The New York Times on Wednesday.

Ex-banker Greg Smith called Goldman a "toxic and destructive" place.

"Today's New York Times op-ed by a Goldman Sachs executive is generating a lot of discussion around the street," Dimon said in his memo.

"I want to be clear that I don't want anyone here to seek advantage from a competitor's alleged issues or hearsay -- ever. It's not the way we do business."


Cisco ( CSCO) is in advanced talks to buy NDS, a developer of software for multi-channel television networks, for $5 billion, according to Israel's Calcalist newspaper.

NDS was founded in Israel and is headquartered in London. The company, which operates a large development center in Jerusalem, is 51%-owned by the Permira private-equity fund and 49% by News Corp ( NWSA), according to Reuters.


Yahoo!'s ( YHOO) board received a heads-up Wednesday from Daniel Loeb that the hedge fund manager plans to launch a proxy battle to get a fair shake for his slate of four nominees to director posts.

Loeb's Third Point LLC owns more than 70.5 million Yahoo! shares.

Loeb, in a letter to Yahoo!'s board, said the Internet company's reaction to his plans to nominate four new board members has been "dismissive" and that he plans file a preliminary proxy statement "within the week."


Google ( GOOG) is making over its Web-search formula as it tries to fix the shortcomings of today's technology and maintain its dominant market share, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The changes to search are among the biggest in the company's history and could affect millions of Web sites that rely on Google's current page-ranking results. The changes also could give Google more ways to serve up advertisements, the Journal said.


-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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

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