Morning Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were rising Thursday despite declined across the globe over fears the U.S. won't be able to reach an agreement quickly on resolving the so-called fiscal cliff.

European stocks were trading in the red. It was reported Thursday that the eurozone fell back into recession for the first time in three years.

Asian shares ended Thursday's session mostly lower following a leadership change in China. The Nikkei 225 index in Japan, however, rallied 1.9% to close at 8,829.72 on reports that Japanese parliamentary elections have been set for Dec. 16 and amid a weakening yen.

The economic calendar in the U.S. Thursday includes weekly jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. EST, the consumer price index for October at 8:30 a.m., and the Empire State manufacturing survey for November at 8:30 a.m.

U.S. stocks on Wednesday were dragged lower by persistent worries over the fiscal cliff.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down more than 185 points, or 1.45%, at 12,571. The blue-chip index, which has fallen in five of the past six sessions, is up just 2.89% year to date.

The S&P 500 finished off more than 19 points, or 1.39%, at 1355, while the Nasdaq lost a little more than 37 points, or 1.29%, to settle at 2847.

BP ( BP) said Thursday it is in advanced talks with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission about settling criminal and other claims from the Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2010.

A source told Reuters that BP's settlement payment would be the largest criminal penalty in U.S. history.

Wal-Mart Stores ( WMT), the world's largest retailer, is expected by analysts to report before Thursday's opening bell quarterly earnings of $1.07 a share on revenue of $115 billion.

Rival Target ( TGT) also reports third-quarter results on Thursday, and analysts polled by Thomson Reuters forecast a profit of 77 cents a share in the October-ended period on revenue of $16.92 billion.

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