Morning Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were pointing to a slightly higher open for Wall Street on Thursday, following sharp losses in the previous trading session and after Spain received a debt downgrade.

European stocks were moving higher while Asian shares finished Thursday with losses. Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.6% to finish at 8,546.78.

Standard & Poor's downgraded Spain's debt late Wednesday two notches to BBB-, the lowest investment-grade level, and maintained a negative outlook on the country. S&P cited the country's recession, high unemployment and social unrest, as reasons for the downgrade.

The economic calendar in the U.S. Thursday includes weekly initial and continuing jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. EDT, trade balance data for August at 8:30 a.m., export and import prices for September at 8:30 a.m., and weekly crude inventories at 11 a.m.

U.S. stocks on Wednesday finished sharply lower as the early results for third-quarter reporting season exacerbated investor worries about a slowing global economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell nearly 129 points, or 0.95%, to close at 13,345, its lowest finish since Sept. 12, the day before the Federal Reserve announced a third round of quantitative easing.

Vice President Joe Biden and GOP challenger Paul Ryan take part in the vice presidential debate Thursday night in Danville, Ky.

JPMorgan Chase's ( JPM) chief financial officer, Douglas Braunstein, is expected to step down over the next two quarters and is likely to move into a different job at the bank, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people close to the company.

Alaska Air ( ALK) is expected to announce Thursday an order for 50 Boeing ( BA) single-aisle jetliners, two people familiar with the matter told the Journal.

Chinese PC maker Lenovo outsold Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ) for the first time to become the world's largest seller of PCs, according to research firm Gartner.

Ruby Tuesday ( RT), the restaurant operator, reported an in-line profit for its fiscal first quarter on Wednesday but gave an outlook that hints at some downside to Wall Street expectations for the full year.

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