Morning Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were flat to slightly higher Tuesday as U.S. manufacturing shrank amid concerns from businesses about the so-called fiscal cliff.

European stocks were rising modestly while Asian shares ended Tuesday's session with mixed results. Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.3% to close at 9,432.46.

President Obama on Monday dismissed a fiscal-cliff proposal from Republican lawmakers because the plan didn't go far enough in raising taxes on the wealthy.

The economic calendar in the U.S. Tuesday includes the ICSC-Goldman Store Sales index at 7:45 a.m. EST and the Redbook Retail Sales Index at 8:30 a.m.

U.S. stocks on Monday fell after a slump in manufacturing outweighed upbeat eurozone developments and manufacturing data from China.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 60 points, or 0.46%, at 12,966, trimming the year's gain to 7%.

Oracle ( ORCL) accelerated its upcoming dividend payments for three quarters.

The software giant accelerated its second, third and fourth-quarter cash dividend totaling 18 cents a share to be payable on Dec. 21 ahead of a proposed hike on dividend tax rates from President Obama and the White House. The accelerated dividend will be paid in lieu of dividends in 2013.

Cerberus Capital Management is in talks to join Virtu Financial's bid for brokerage Knight Capital Group ( KCG), The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the discussions.

Geron ( GERN) said it would end development of GRN1005, an experimental brain cancer drug, and plans to undergo a a restructuring that includes cutting its work force by 40%. It also said it plans to replace its chief financial officer.

Qualcomm ( QCOM) plans to invest about $120 million in Sharp, the struggling Japanese TV maker.

Big Lots ( BIG) and AutoZone ( AZO) are expected to post quarterly results on Tuesday.

Pandora Media ( P) also is expected to report and analysts forecast a loss of 2 cents a share in the third quarter.

Pep Boys ( PBY) said on Monday it swung to a third-quarter loss as revenue in the quarter fell 2.4% to $509.6 million. Same-store sales during the quarter decreased 2.7%.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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