Morning Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - 1. European markets were off and the dollar weaker as investors ponder the Fed's timetable for ending its bond-buying program. Remarks Wednesday afternoon by James Bullard, the president of the St. Louis Fed, offered little in the way of clarity. Bullard said the Fed "needs to see more data on macroeconomic performance for the second half of 2013 before making a judgment."


2. Japan's policymakers have denied they are considering immediate corporate tax cuts, triggering a fall in the dollar against the yen.


3. Cisco ( CSCO) shares slumped more than 9% in extended trading. Citing the impact of a slower-than-anticipated global economic recovery, the networking giant announced 4,000 job cuts, or 5% of its global workforce, as part of its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings report.

Cisco's results were in line with expectations, with revenue of $12.4 billion, a 6% hike on the prior year's quarter, and earnings per share of 52 cents, up from 47 cents a share in the prior year's quarter. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected Cisco to earn 51 cents a share.


4. The U.S. closed its Cairo embassy temporarily. Over 400 people have been killed in in Egypt during clashes between security forces and supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi. The military-led government has declared a state of emergency as it attempted to halt disperse protests through apparent brute force, bulldozing camps and firing on protesters.

In closing the embassy, the Obama administration issued a statement saying it "strongly condemns" the crackdown.

Objecting to the use of force, Egypt's interim Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei resigned on Wednesday.


5. Reacting to the Middle East unrest, crude oil prices are going higher. West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices continued to rise in electronic trading, with crude up 44 cents, or 0.4%, to $107.29 a barrel.


6. The Department of Justice filed charges Wednesday against two former traders of JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) related to the company's $6.2 billion "London whale" trading loss. The charges are changing the way the financial world views the trading loss.


7. AOL ( AOL) CEO Tim Armstrong AOL CEO Tim Armstrong apologized in a memo Tuesday to his staff for his public firing of Abel Lenz, a creative director for AOL's Patch, during a conference call Friday.

Quoted by Bloomberg, the memo reads: "I am writing you to acknowledge the mistake I made last Friday during the Patch all-hands meeting when I publicly fired Abel Lenz. I am the CEO and leader of the organization, and I take that responsibility seriously."


8. Lenovo, a leading maker of personal computers, said it is selling more wireless mobile devices than PCs. In its quarterly earnings report, the company noted sales of mobile devices rose 105% while PC shipments remained flat.


9. Wal-Mart ( WMT) and Kohl's ( KSS) continue the march of retail earnings, with both reporting before the opening bell. The sector is being closely watched this quarter as a sign of the pace of the U.S. economy and a forecast of fall consumer spending trends.


10. A raft of economic data is coming this morning, including the Department of Labor weekly jobless claims and consumer price index at 8:30 a.m.

-- Written by Carlton Wilkinson in Asbury Park

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