Jan. 3 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

Here are 10 things you should know for Friday, Jan. 3: 

1.-- U.S. stock futures were trading flat Friday after markets kicked off 2014 with losses on Thursday.

European stocks were higher. Asian shares declined Friday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 2.3%. The Nikkei in Tokyo was closed.

2.
-- The economic calendar in the U.S. Friday includes natural gas inventories for the week ended Dec. 28, 2013, at 10:30 a.m. EST, and crude inventories for the same week at 11 a.m.

3.-- U.S. stocks fell on Thursday, the first trading day of 2014, amid signs of slowing manufacturing in China and as investors accepted the likelihood that the next 12 months won't match 2013, a year in which S&P 500 soared 29.6%, the most since 1997.

The S&P 500 fell 0.89% on Thursday to close at 1,831.98, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.82% to 16,441.35. The Nasdaq declined 0.8% to finish at 4,143.07.

4.-- The U.S. Senate scheduled a vote for Monday on the appointment of Janet Yellen as the Federal Reserve's next chair.

The Senate is expected to vote at around 5:30 p.m. on Monday, a Senate Democratic leadership aide told Reuters.

Yellen would become the first woman to chair the U.S. central bank. She would become chief on Feb. 1, one day after Ben Bernanke ends his two-term stint.

5.
-- Boeing (BA) machinists are voting Friday on whether to accept a contract that would concede some pension and health care benefits in order to secure assembly of the company's new 777X airplane in Washington.

Voting is expected to run through 6 p.m. Friday, with results to be announced later in the night.

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