Here are 10 things you should know for Thursday, Jan. 2:
1.-- U.S. stock futures were scheduled to begin trading at 6 a.m. EST on Thursday. Global stock markets were mixed Thursday amid weaker Chinese manufacturing data.
European stocks were trading higher. China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closed down by 0.3%. Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.
2.-- The economic calendar in the U.S. Thursday includes weekly initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. EST, construction spending for November at 10 a.m., and the ISM Index for December at 10 a.m.
3.-- U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday, the last day of 2013, a year in which the S&P 500 soared 29.6%, the most since 1997.
The S&P 500 closed up 0.4% to finish 1,848.36. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.44% to 16,576.66. The Nasdaq added 0.54% to 4,176.59. The Dow surged 28.1% and the Nasdaq jumped 41.1% in 2013.
The market was closed Wednesday for the New Year's Day holiday.
4.-- Fiat, the Italian automaker, reached a deal with the United Auto Workers union trust fund to buy the remaining shares of Chrysler for $3.65 billion.
Fiat already owns 58.5% of Chrysler's shares; the remaining 41.5% is held by the fund, which pays health care bills for retirees.
Fiat will make an initial payment of $1.9 billion to the fund, plus an additional $1.75 billion upon closing the deal, according to The Associated Press.
"The unified ownership structure will now allow us to fully execute our vision of creating a global automaker that is truly unique in terms of mix of experience, perspective and know-how, a solid and open organization," Sergio Marchionne, CEO of both Fiat and Chrysler, said in a statement.
The deal, which is expected to close on or before Jan. 20, eliminates the need for an initial public offering of the union fund's stake.
5.-- Motorola Mobility, a unit of Google (GOOG), slashed the price of its flagship Moto X smartphone with 16 gigabytes of memory to a permanent $399 without a wireless contract for U.S. customers, from $550.
Samsung's flagship device, the Galaxy S4, costs $600 at Verizon Wireless for a 16-gigabyte model without a wireless contract. Apple's (AAPL) 5S costs $650 at Verizon for a 16-gigabyte model without a contract.
6.-- Apple played no role in the National Security Agency's alleged efforts to hack the iPhone, saying was unaware of a recently revealed program apparently aimed at turning the smartphone into an improvised listening device.
Apple said never worked with the NSA to deliberately weaken its products, promising that it would "defend our customers from security attacks, regardless of who's behind them."
Wal-Mart said it will reimburse customers who bought the tainted "Five Spice" donkey meat and is helping authorities in eastern Shandong province investigate its Chinese supplier, Reuters reported.
the firm said late on Wednesday on China's Twitter-like Weibo. The Shandong Food and Drug Administration earlier said the product contained fox meat.
8.-- Online usernames and partial phone numbers of 4.6 million users of Snapchat have been posted online. Web site SnapchatDB.info has made the information available for download, according to TechCrunch.
SnapchatDB told TechCrunch it got the information through a recently identified and patched Snapchat exploit and that it is making the data available in an effort to convince the messaging app to beef up its security.
Reuters reported the group also posted the contact information of Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's retiring CEO, on its Twitter account along with the message, "You can thank Microsoft for monitoring your accounts/emails using this details. #SEA"
10.-- Landec (LNDC), the materials science company, is expected by Wall Street on Thursday to report fiscal second-quarter earnings of 13 cents a share.
-- Written by Joseph Woelfel
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