Morning Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Here are 10 things you should know for Thursday, Aug. 1:

1. -- U.S. stock futures were pointing to gains on Wall Street and European and Asian stocks were moving higher on Thursday after the Federal Reserve gave no indication it was preparing to wind down its massive bond-buying program.

Japanese shares ended Thursday's trading session at 14,005.77, a gain of 2.5%.

2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. Thursday includes weekly initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. EDT, the ISM Index for July at 10 a.m., and construction spending for June at 10 a.m.

3. -- U.S. stocks on Wednesday finished mixed following the release of the Fed's latest policy statement.

The S&P 500 fell slightly to 1,685.73, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.14% to 15,499.54. The Nasdaq closed up 0.27% to 3,626.37.

4. -- Exxon Mobil ( XOM), the world's largest oil and gas company, is expected by analysts to report on Thursday second-quarter earnings of $1.90 a share on revenue of $105.5 billion.

The earnings are expected by Wall Street to reflect slower oil and gas production, and lower refining profits.

A year earlier, Exxon posted a profit of $15.9 billion, or $3.41 a share, on revenue of $127.4 billion. The results included $7.5 billion of asset sales.

5. -- Procter & Gamble ( PG), the consumer-good giant, is forecast to report fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of 77 cents a share on revenue of $20.55 billion.

The company, which makes Tide detergent and Crest toothpaste, re-hired CEO A.G. Lafley in May in an effort to step up turnaround efforts.

Last year, P&G posted earnings of $1.24 a share, or net income of 82 cents a share excluding items.

6. -- LinkedIn ( LNKD), the online professional networking service, is forecast to report on Thursday second-quarter earnings of 31 cents a share.

LinkedIn has posted earnings and revenue above analysts' expectations in all eight quarters as a public company.

7. -- Apple ( AAPL) suppliers are gearing up for mass production of a new iPad mini in the fourth quarter that likely will feature a high-resolution screen from rival Samsung, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Apple is working with suppliers in Asia on its next iPad mini with a high-resolution "retina" display, the newspaper said. Component makers have been told that Apple plans to use screens from Samsung's display unit, as well as Japan's Sharp and LG Display.

8. -- Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.A) said Thursday that second-quarter earnings fell 57% on impairment charges, lower production and higher costs.

Net profit declined to $1.74 billion from $4.08 billion in the year-earlier quarter; the latest quarter included a $2.2 billion impairment charge on its shale oil assets in North America.

9. -- Automakers such as General Motors ( GM) and Ford ( F) are expected to report auto sales for July throughout the day Thursday.

Analysts expect that sales in the month rose about 15% from a year earlier.

10. -- President Barack Obama nominated Sarah Bloom Raskin, a member of the Federal Reserve board, to serve as deputy Treasury secretary, the second-highest position at the Treasury.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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