Morning Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Here are 10 things you should know for Thursday, Aug. 22:

1. -- U.S. stock futures were rising Thursday as manufacturing output in China rose unexpectedly.

European stocks were trading higher. Asian shares ended Thursday's session mostly lower. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index bucked the trend, rising 0.4%.

HSBC Corp. said the preliminary version of its monthly purchasing managers' index for August in China rose to 50.1 from July's 47.7. Numbers above 50 indicate manufacturing expansion.

2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. Thursday includes weekly initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. EDT, the FHFA Housing Price Index for June at 9 a.m., leading indicators for July at 10 a.m. and new-home sales for July at 10 a.m.

3. -- U.S. stocks on Wednesday closed lower despite a stronger-than-expected home resale report as investors remained jittery about the prospects of a near-term decline in monthly bond purchases by the Federal Reserve.

Minutes from the latest Federal Open Market Committee indicated the central bank may begin to taper its stimulus program in September.

The S&P 500 shed 0.58% to close at 1,642.80. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped 0.7% to close at 14,897.55. The Nasdaq lost 0.38% to close at 3,599.79.

4. -- Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ) said fiscal third-quarter revenue declined from a year earlier, weighed down by the pressures of a tough PC environment, and noted the 2014 environment is likely to get worse.

The PC and printer maker reported revenue of $27.2 billion, down from $29.7 billion a year earlier. Analysts were looking for sales of $27.29 billion.

Excluding items, HP earned 86 cents a share, down from $1 a share in the same period last year, and in line with analysts' expectations.

For the full year, HP expects earnings, excluding items, of $3.53 to $3.57 a share. Wall Street analysts are predicting $3.57 a share.

The company's personal systems revenue was down 11% year over year, while printing revenue fell 4%. Revenue from the company's enterprise group tumbled 9%.

5. -- Web traffic for Yahoo! ( YHOO) in July topped Google for the first time in more than two years, according to comScore.

Yahoo! took the top spot in July with 196.6 million visitors to Google's 192.3 million, comScore said. Microsoft ( MSFT) came in third, Facebook ( FB) placed fourth and AOL ( AOL) came in fifth.

6. -- Wells Fargo ( WFC) will eliminate 2,300 jobs in mortgage production, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

The bank is cutting the jobs because demand for refinancings has slumped and probably will drop even more as interest rates rise, Bloomberg noted.

The reductions would equal about 20% of the 11,406 mortgage loan officers employed by the bank as of March 31, according to Bloomberg.

7. -- Onyx Pharmaceuticals ( ONXX) has given potential buyers, including Amgen ( AMGN), access to trial data on its new cancer drug, removing a key hurdle that was holding up deal talks, Reuters reported, citing three people familiar with the matter.

Reuters reported last week that Onyx's attempt to sell itself for around $9.5 billion hit a roadblock after Amgen, the lead bidder, sought trial data about blood cancer drug Kyprolis, something that Onyx was reluctant to share.

Onyx made more information available this week to Amgen and other parties involved in the sale process, and is now waiting for a firm offer, the people told Reuters.

8. -- Sears ( SHLD) is forecast by analysts on Thursday to report a fiscal second-quarter loss of $1.10 a share on revenue of $9.01 billion.

9. -- Wall Street expects Gap ( GPS) to post second-quarter earnings of 64 cents a share on sales of $3.83 billion.

10. -- Dollar Tree ( DLTR) is expected to report second-quarter earnings on Thursday of 57 cents a share.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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