Here are 10 things you should know for Thursday, Dec. 5:
1.-- U.S. stock futures pointed to a flat start for Wall Street on Thursday as strong economic data renewed worries the Federal Reserve could begin cutting monetary stimulus when it meets in less than two weeks.
European stocks were little changed in early trading. Asian shares finished Thursday's session with losses. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index declined 1.5%.
2.-- The economic calendar in the U.S. Thursday includes weekly initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. EST, the second estimate of third-quarter gross domestic product at 8:30 a.m., and factory orders for October at 10 a.m.
3.-- U.S. stocks on Wednesday finished flat as a better-than-anticipated jobs report and a jump in October home purchases triggered the Fed-tapering concerns.
The S&P 500 fell 0.13% to close at 1,792.81, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.16% to 15,889.77, and the Nasdaq rose 0.02% to end at 4,038.
The rollout of iPhones at China Mobile, the world's largest mobile carrier by users, is expected to start later this month, around the time of a Dec. 18 China Mobile conference in Guangzhou, according to two people familiar with the carrier's plans, the Journal reported.
Apple already has deals with the other major Chinese carriers, including China Telecom ( CHA) and China Unicom ( CHU).
5.-- More Apple news: Activist investor Carl Icahn plans to submit a proposal for a $50 billion buyback of stock to Apple's shareholders at the tech giant's annual meeting, a source told CNBC.
Icahn earlier Wednesday announced in a tweet he has notified Apple that he intends to make a push for a vote on a buyback increase.
"Gave $AAPL notice we'll be making a precatory proposal to call for vote to increase buyback program, although not at $150 billion level," Icahn wrote in a tweet. A precatory proposal would not be legally binding.
6.-- Ford (F) plans to unveil the 2015 Mustang on Thursday morning at events in New York, Los Angeles, Shanghai, Sydney, Barcelona and its hometown of Dearborn, Mich. The muscle car will go on sale next fall in North America and will arrive later in Europe and Asia.
The Mustang isn't anywhere near Ford's best-seller -- the automaker sells more pickups in a week than it does Mustangs in a month. But Ford told The Associated Press the Mustang has the highest name recognition and highest favorable opinion of any car in its lineup.
7. -- Jos. A Bank (JOSB), locked in a takeover battle with rival Men's Wearhouse (MW), is expected by analysts on Thursday to report third-quarter earnings of 49 cents a share on sales of $245 million.
8.-- Grocery chain Kroger (KR) is forecast to post earnings of 53 cents a share in the third quarter on revenue of $22.75 billion.
9.-- General Motors (GM) plans to sell its remaining stake in former lending subsidiary Ally Financial, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
GM, the No. 1 U.S. auto maker by sales, plans to sell its stake through a private placement valued at about $900 million, one of the people told the Journal. A sale could be announced within a week though the identity of the buyer or buyers wasn't known.
10.-- China's central bank said Thursday its banks and payment systems are barred from handling bitcoins, the virtual currency.
The central bank said bitcoins didn't qualify as a currency but private individuals still are allowed to trade them at their own risk.
-- Written by Joseph Woelfel
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