Here are 10 things you should know for Thursday, Feb. 13:
1.-- U.S. stock futures were pointing to a lower start for Wall Street on Thursday ahead of retail sales data.
European shares were slipping. Asian shares ended Thursday's session with losses. Japan's Nikkei 225 index declined 1.8%
2.-- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Thursday includes initial weekly jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. EST, retail sales for January at 8:30 a.m., and business inventories for December at 10 a.m.
The S&P 500 was broadly flat at 1,819.26 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed off 0.19% to 15,963.94. The Nasdaq gained 0.24% to 4,201.29.
4.-- Comcast (CMCSA) reached an agreement to acquire Time Warner Cable (TWC) in an all-stock transaction worth roughly $159 a share, or $45 billion. The deal was confirmed Thursday morning by both companies.
The new company would be by far the largest cable provider in the nation with more than 33 million subscribers, and is certain to face a tough review from the Federal Communications Commission, according to CNBC.
Time Warner Cable shares rose 11.2% in premarket trading to $150.49. Comcast shares fell 1.8% to $54.25.
The San Jose, Calif.-based company reported revenue of $11.2 billion, down from $12.1 billion in the prior year's quarter, but above analysts' estimates of $11.03 billion.
Excluding items, Cisco earned $2.5 billion, or 47 cents a share, in the second quarter, down from $2.7 billion, or 51 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter. Analysts were looking for earnings of 46 cents a share.
For its fiscal third quarter, Cisco predicted a year-over-year revenue decline of 6% to 8%, although CEO John Chambers noted that this was an improvement from the firm's second-quarter guidance, which forecast an 8% to 10% fall in sales from the year-earlier period.
The stock fell 3.9% in premarket trading to $21.97.
6.-- A sale of Merck's (MRK) portfolio of consumer brands including Coppertone sunscreen and Claritin allergy pills is kicking into high gear, with big consumer and health care industry players expected to put in bids that could top $10 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Merck, which has disclosed that it is exploring options for the business, already has received preliminary offers for it, the people told the newspaper. Merck officials will begin meeting with possible buyers next week, and final bids will likely be due late next month, one of the people said.
Shares of Whole Foods declined 7.9% to $51.09 in premarket trading on Thursday.
8.-- PepsiCo (PEP) said fourth-quarter net income rose 5% to $1.74 billion, or $1.12 a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $1.66 billion, or $1.06 a share. Excluding charges and other items, earnings were $1.05 a share; analysts forecast $1.01 a share.
The stock fell 0.6% in premarket trading.
A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission didn't identify what part of Graham Holdings Berkshire might be interested in buying. Graham owns Kaplan Education, six television stations, the online magazine Slate and several other ventures.
On a non-GAAP basis, Zillow earned 20 cents a share on revenue of $58.3 million in revenue, as revenue from Marketplace increased 71% to a record $45.9 million from $26.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Analysts were looking for the company to earn 7 cents a share on fourth-quarter sales of $54.43 million.
Zillow shares rose 0.2% in premarket trading on Thursday.
-- Written by Joseph Woelfel
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