Updated from 6:49 a.m. EDT
Here are 10 things you should know for Thursday, June 5:
1. -- U.S. stock futures were trading higher Thursday as the markets cheered the European Central Bank's unprecedented moves to help stimulate the eurozone economy.
The ECB on Thursday cut the refi rate to 0.15% and the marginal lending rate to 0.4% and decided in favor of slashing the deposit rate to negative territory for the first time at -0.1%. The decision demonstrated the ECB's commitment to fighting a prolonged period of low inflation that has been adding to worries over a faltering economic recovery.
2. -- Weekly initial jobless claims rose 8,000 to 312,000, which remains close to a seven-year low.
3. -- U.S. stocks on Wednesday rose modestly, as investors waited to hear a decision on interest rates from the ECB.
The S&P 500 added 0.19% to close at 1,927.88, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.9% to 16,737.53, while the Nasdaq climbed 0.41% to 4,251.64.
4. -- Sprint (S) and T-Mobile US (TMUS) have agreed on the broad outlines of a merger valuing T-Mobile at around $32 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The terms involve Sprint paying around $40 a share for T-Mobile in an acquisition that could happen early this summer, the people told the Journal. The companies are still working toward a formal contract. If the deal is completed, it would combine the country's third- and fourth-largest wireless operators
A deal would need the approval of the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department.
Sprint shares rose 3.6% in premarket trading to $9.74. T-Mobile shares rose 1% to $34.61.
5. -- An internal probe of General Motors' (GM) delay in recalling defective cars is expected to conclude there was no concerted cover-up, but that managers operating in isolation failed to make connections and act on evidence of problems now linked to fatal accidents, people familiar with the situation told the Journal.
The findings of the investigation by former U.S. prosecutor Anton Valukas will be released Thursday.
GM CEO Mary Barra is expected to outline new steps to overhaul GM's culture and management, including the departures of more employees, the people said.
6. -- Medtronic (MDT) is evaluating a takeover of London-based Smith & Nephew that could see the U.S. company move its tax domicile overseas, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.
Smith & Nephew, with a market value of about 9.5 billion pounds ($15.9 billion), is aware of Medtronic's interest as are investment banks, said two of the people. Medtronic's preparations for a bid are at an early stage and no offer is imminent, the people told Bloomberg.
Medtronic is a more serious bidder for Smith & Nephew than Stryker (SYK), another U.S. maker of medical devices, said one of the people. Stryker Chief Executive Officer Kevin Lobo said last week the company was in the early stages of evaluating a bid.
Medtronic shares fell 0.2% in premarket trading.
7. -- Twitter (TWTR) has considered buying online music services including Soundcloud and Spotify in recent months, The Financial Times reported.
Twitter, the microblogging site, has weighed up deals worth billions of dollars as it seeks to add a music service to its offering, the FT reported, citing three people familiar with the matter.
Ali Rowghani, Twitter's chief operating officer, has been the driving force behind its search for a music company, people familiar with the process said. He recently entered talks with Soundcloud, the Berlin-based audio site, the people told the FT.
8. -- Ciena (CIEN), the optical networking giant, said its fiscal second-quarter loss narrowed and it expects improved results in the second half of 2014.
The stock rose 12.6% in premarket trading to $21.39.
9. -- Amazon.com (AMZN) has asked customers to request an invitation to a launch event for an unspecified device on June 18 in Seattle.
According to The Verge and other publications, the event is likely for the launch of a 3D smartphone that has been rumored for months.
10. -- J.M. Smucker (SJM), the maker of jellies and jams, said Thursday that earnings in its fiscal fourth quarter fell 9% but adjusted profit of $1.21 a share beat Wall Street expectations.
The stock fell 0.7% in premarket trading to $102.15.
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-- Written by Joseph Woelfel
To contact the writer of this article, click here:Joseph Woelfel