Morning Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Here are 10 things you should know for Monday, Sept. 9:

1. -- U.S. stock futures were pointing to a higher open for Wall Street on Monday amid positive sentiment in Asia over Tokyo's victory in its bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics.

European shares were slipping in early trading. Asian stocks finished with gains. Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose nearly 2.5% to close at 14,205.23. Stocks in China rose following positive economic data.

2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. Monday includes consumer credit for July at 3 p.m. EDT.

3. -- U.S. stocks on Friday closed flat as markets shrugged at the August jobs report.

The S&P 500 added 0.08 point to close at 1,655.16. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.1% to 14,922.58 while Nasdaq edged up 0.03% to 3,660.01.

4. -- President Bashar Assad of Syria denied in an interview on Sunday he had anything to do with a chemical weapons attack in a suburb of Damascus last month.

Charlie Rose of CBS News and PBS, who conducted the interview, said of Assad Sunday on "Face the Nation," a CBS News program: "He denied that he had anything to do with the attack. He denied that he knew, in fact, that there was a chemical attack, notwithstanding what has been said and notwithstanding the video tapes. He said there's not evidence yet to make a conclusive judgment."

President Obama has said there is compelling evidence that Assad's regime attacked civilians with chemical weapons and has asked Congress to authorize a limited military strike against targets in Syria.

The president will address the country on Tuesday night.

5. -- Jacobs Engineering Group ( JEC) is buying Australian consulting and engineering firm Sinclair Knight Merz for about 1.3 billion Australian dollars ($1.2 billion).

Jacobs CEO Craig Martin said in a statement Sunday that the two companies' geographic regions and capabilities had little overlap.

Sinclair Knight Merz operates in Australia, Asia, South America and Britain and serves clients in the mining, building, water and power businesses. It has 6,500 employees and posted revenue of about $1.2 billion in 2012.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

6. -- Neiman Marcus is close to having a buyer, The Wall Street Journal reported.

A team of Ares Management LLC and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board are in the final stages of negotiations to buy Neiman Marcus for around $6 billion, people familiar with the matter told the Journal.

Neiman Marcus was purchased by private-equity firms TPG and Warburg Pincus LLC for $4.9 billion in 2005.

7. -- Michael Dell is finally set to win shareholder backing for his $24.8 billion buyout of the PC company he founded, barring last-minute intervention from activist shareholder Carl Icahn, The Financial Times reported.

A change in Dell's ( DELL) voting rules looks likely to hand control to Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners, the private-equity firm that backs his offer, at a vote at a shareholder meeting at Dell's headquarters in Texas on Thursday, the FT reported, citing people close to the buyout.

8. -- Time Warner ( TWX) plans to move its retired workers off its health plan and provide money to them to purchase coverage on private exchanges at the beginning of next year.

Company spokesman Keith Cocozza confirmed the plan Sunday with The Associated Press.

The move is similar to a change confirmed by IBM ( IBM) on Saturday.

9. -- The White House is considering nominating Lael Brainard, a top female official at the Treasury Department, to fill one of the vacant seats at the Federal Reserve, The Washington Post reported, citing two people familiar with the process.

10. -- Serena Williams beat Victoria Azarenka 7-5, 6-7 (6-8), 6-1 on Sunday for her fifth U.S. Open title and 17th Grand Slam singles title, one fewer than Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova on the all-time list.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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