2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. Thursday includes initial weekly jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. EDT, and the trade balance for March, also at 8:30 a.m.
3. -- U.S. stocks on Wednesday declined after Federal Reserve policymakers said U.S. unemployment remains "elevated" and that "fiscal policy is restraining economic growth," adding that they are prepared to increase or reduce asset purchases as needed. The S&P 500 fell 0.9% to 1,582.70.
4. -- Facebook ( FB), the social networking giant, posted first-quarter earnings on Wednesday that were mixed compared to Wall Street's expectations. Facebook earned 12 cents a share in the quarter on revenue of $1.46 billion, an increase of 38% year over year, led by strength in mobile advertising, which accounted for 30% of total advertising revenue. Facebook was forecast by analysts to earn 13 cents a share on a non-GAAP basis, with revenue coming in at $1.44 billion. Mobile users continued to grow, and mobile monthly active users (MAUs) grew to 751 million, with total daily active users reaching 1.1 billion.
5. -- General Motors ( GM) is expected by analysts on Thursday to post first-quarter earnings of 54 cents a share on revenue of $36.6 billion. GM said sales in April rose 11% to 237,646, its best April since 2007.
6. -- Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.A) said first-quarter net profit fell to $8.18 billion from $8.74 billion as revenue declined 5.1% to $112 billion because of lower oil prices. The oil giant also announced CEO Peter Voser, 54, would step down in early 2014; a search for a new CEO is underway.
7. -- Visa ( V) on Wednesday posted quarterly net income of $1.27 billion, or $1.92 a share, compared with net income of $1.29 billion, or $1.91 per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose nearly 15% to $2.96 billion. Visa said credit card transactions processed over its network totaled $13.9 billion, an increase of 6% from a year earlier.
8. -- Cigna ( CI) posted adjusted first-quarter earnings of $497 million, or $1.72 a share, up from $359 million, or $1.24 a share, a year earlier. Analysts were calling for earnings of $1.43 a share.
10. -- A Korean American detained for six months in North Korea has been sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for "hostile acts" against the state, the North's media said Thursday, a move that could trigger a visit by a high-profile American if history is any guide, The Associated Press reported. Kenneth Bae, from Washington state, is at least the sixth American detained in North Korea since 2009. The others eventually were deported or released without serving out their terms, some after trips to Pyongyang by prominent Americans, including former U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.
-- Written by Joseph Woelfel >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Joseph Woelfel >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.