Here are 10 things you should know for Friday, July 11:
1. -- U.S. stock futures were rising on Friday as fears subsided about Portugal's banking sector.
European stocks recovered, as some of the panic over contagion from the troubled Portuguese Espirito Santo Financial Group quieted down.
Asian stocks finished Friday's session mixed.
2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Friday includes the Treasury budget for June at 2 p.m. EDT.
3. -- U.S. stocks on Thursday declined as the markets were awash with risk aversion attributable to soft international data and deepening Portugal banking concerns.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.4% to 16,915.07. The S&P 500 index fell 0.4% to 1,964.88 and the Nasdaq declined 0.5% to 4,396.20.
4. -- Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce company, plans to launch its IPO process as soon as the end of the month, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.
Alibaba, which could raise more than $20 billion and rank as one of the largest initial public offerings ever, shared a timetable with some current investors through an email, the people said. The email marks an official acknowledgment of the timing plans, until now the subject of wide speculation, the Journal noted.
The communication also warned that timing still depends on market conditions.
Including an investor roadshow, the IPO process for a deal of this size typically takes about two weeks. That means if all goes smoothly, shares would be sold and begin trading by mid-August on the New York Stock Exchange, according to the Journal.
5. -- Banking giant Wells Fargo (WFC), the nation's largest mortgage lender, is expected by analysts on Friday to report second-quarter earnings of $1 a share while revenue is forecast to drop about 3.4% to $20.8 billion.
Wells Fargo's mortgage-related earnings could provide a clear picture of the state of the U.S. economy, after bad weather washed out much of the economic growth in the first half of 2014. Analysts expect that mortgage second-quarter originations at Wells Fargo will return to 20%-plus growth.
6.-- Reynolds American (RAI) and Lorillard (LO) are closing in on a complex merger and may announce a deal as soon as next week with the blessing of British American Tobacco (BTI), people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg.
BAT, based in London, owns 42% of Reynolds and would have to approve of any merger. The transaction is complicated by its size and the involvement of several companies, and there is no guarantee a deal will get done, the people told Bloomberg.
As part of the deal, London-based Imperial Tobacco Group will buy some brands from Reynolds and Lorillard in an effort to head off U.S. antitrust concerns, the people said. Imperial Tobacco is lining up as much as $7 billion to buy some brands from the companies. Imperial Tobacco confirmed Friday it's in talks with the U.S. cigarette makers, though said a deal isn't certain to happen.
CEO Jeff Bezos wants to use drones, the small unmanned aircraft, to deliver packages in 30 minutes or less as part of the program dubbed "Prime Air." The company is developing drones that can fly at speeds of 50 miles per hour, Reuters said.
Now Amazon is seeking permission to test drones in outdoor areas near Seattle, where one of its research and development labs is working on the technology, according to a letter posted on the Federal Aviation Administration's Web site on Thursday, Reuters reported.
8. -- Chevron (CVX) said earnings for the second quarter are expected to rise from the first quarter because of gains on asset sales.
The energy giant said it sold $500 million to $600 million in primarily upstream-related assets in the second quarter.
9. -- Infosys (INFY) said fiscal first-quarter earnings rose 15% and the Indian outsourcing company maintained its revenue growth forecast.
The company reported revenue of $2.1 billion. It maintained its forecast for full-year revenue growth at 7% to 9% in in dollar terms.
10. -- Fastenal (FAST) is expected by analysts on Friday to report second-quarter earnings of 44 cents a share on revenue of $952.5 million.
-- Written by Joseph Woelfel
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