Morning Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were sharply lower Wednesday after European finance ministers delayed approval of the next €31.5 billion ($40 billion) installment of Greece's bailout loan.

European stocks were moving to the downside while Asian shares declined. Japan's Nikkei 225 index closed down 0.2%.

The economic calendar in the U.S. Tuesday includes the National Federation of Independent Business' small business optimism survey for October at 7:30 a.m. EST, the weekly ICSC-Goldman Sachs and Johnson Redbook reports on retail sales, and the Treasury Department budget for October at 2 p.m.

U.S. stocks on Monday finished flat with investors mostly sticking to the sidelines after last week's big pullback following the election results.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped less than a point, or 0.23%, to close at 12,815.16.

President Obama on Tuesday kicks off a series of meetings this week with labor officials, business executives and congressional leaders aimed at pushing Congress to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.

Obama plans to meet with corporate CEOs on Wednesday ahead of a meeting Friday with Congressional leaders, who return to Washington Tuesday with just seven weeks to go to reach an agreement on the fiscal cliff.

Microsoft's ( MSFT) Steven Sinofsky, president of Windows and Windows Live, is leaving the software giant.

The company didn't provide a reason for Sinofsky's departure which comes just weeks after Microsoft launched Windows 8.

Home Depot ( HD), the home-improvement retailer, is expected by analysts Tuesday to report third-quarter earnings of 70 cents a share on revenue of $17.92 billion. Home Depot reports before Tuesday's opening bell.

Cisco ( CSCO), the networking giant, is expected by Wall Street to post fiscal first-quarter profit of 46 cents a share on revenue of $11.78 billion. Cisco reports after the markets close Tuesday.

Other companies slated to report on Tuesday include Bluefly ( BFLY), Crown Crafts ( CRWS), Dick's Sporting Goods ( DKS), Heelys ( HLYS), Michael Kors Holdings ( KORS), Plug Power ( PLUG), Renren ( RENN), Saks ( SKS), Superconductor Technologies ( SCON), and TJX Cos. ( TJX).

Yahoo! ( YHOO) is preparing to launch a major overhaul of Yahoo Mail, which sources told AllThingsD has been initiated by new CEO Marissa Mayer and is being made to better compete with the fast-growing mail offering from Google.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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