Updated from 6:46 a.m. EDT
Here are 10 things you should know for Thursday, May 1:
1. -- U.S. stock futures were rising slightly early Thursday, while stocks in London were higher as most of Europe took off for the May Day holiday.
Asian shares ended the session mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose. 1.3%.
2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Thursday includes weekly initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. EDT, personal income and personal spending for March at 8:30 a.m., the ISM Index for April at 10 a.m., and construction spending for March at 10 a.m.
3. -- U.S. stocks on Wednesday closed higher after the Federal Reserve pledged to hold rates for a considerable time after it ends its economic stimulus program, offsetting weaker-than-expected economic growth data.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.27% to 16,580.84 -- a record high closing -- while the S&P 500 increased 0.3% to 1,883.95. The Nasdaq climbed 0.27% to finish at 4,114.56.
A combination of AT&T with satellite-TV company DirecTV would create a pay television giant close in size to where Comcast (CMCSA) will be if it completes its pending acquisition of Time Warner Cable (TWC), the Journal noted.
A deal would likely be worth at least $40 billion, DirecTV's current market capitalization, a fraction of AT&T's $185 billion market capitalization, according to the newspaper.
AT&T declined to comment for the Journal, as did DirecTV.
AT& shares fell 1% in premarket trading to $35.33. DirecTV shares rose 7.3% to $83.25.
5. -- Sprint (S) is in the process of raising financing for a takeover bid of competitor T-Mobile (TMUS) as the company works to press a merger of the nation's third- and fourth-largest wireless carriers.