July 25 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Here are 10 things you should know for Friday, July 25: 

1. -- U.S. stock futures were down slightly this morning at the end of a busy week for earnings reports, and after big losses for Amazon (AMZN).

European stocks were mixed, as banks pulled markets up and LMVH's soft numbers pushed them down.

2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Friday includes durable good orders for June at 8:30 a.m. EDT.

3. -- U.S. stocks on Thursday ended little changed -- the S&P 500 (SPY) slightly higher, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) slightly lower -- on a day packed with earnings reports.

The U.S. jobless claims report was a positive for markets after initial jobless claims for the week of July 19 fell by 19,000 to a smaller-than-expected 284,000, the lowest level since Feb. 18, 2006

The Dow closed down 0.02% to 17,083.8. The S&P 500 gained 0.05% to 1,987.96. The Nasdaq (QQQ) slipped 0.04% to 4,472.11. 

4. -- Real estate site Zillow (Z) is seeking to buy out rival Trulia (TRLA) for up to $2 billion in cash and stock. Both companies collect fees from real-estate agents as well as advertising revenue on a combined 85 million unique visitors in June alone.

 Trulia stock rose 32% Thursday to close at $53.74, but is down nearly 4% in after-hours trading. Zillow stock rose 15% yesterday to close at $145.76, and softened slightly by 0.9% in after-hours trading.

Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff has also overseen acquisitions of Retsly Software this month, Streeteasy.com in 2013 and HotPads in 2012. The proposed deal would be Zillow's largest acquisition and would consolidate the industry. 

5. -- Amazon (AMZN), the online retailing giant, reported second-quarter losses almost twice what Wall Street analysts forecasted. The company also said that the third quarter results would be even worse. The company claimed that its long-term strategy would make it profitable in the end.

Investors responded by running for the exits. Amazon shares fell 10% in after-hours trading Thursday night and early Friday morning. Shares closed Thursday at $358.61, but were trading at $322.89 in the after-hours market. 

6. -- Rupert Murdoch isn't just convulsing American media markets with his 21st Century Fox (FOXA) bid for Time Warner TWX. His BSkyB (BSYBY) British TV company is looking to spend $9 billion to buy Fox's pay-TV stations in Germany and Italy.

Less than one-third of British households have bought pay-TV, and Murdoch's move seeks to change that. Still, shareholders of BSkyB were skeptical, and shares fell nearly 5% on the London markets. 

7. -- Pandora (P) shares have fallen just shy of 8% in premarket trading, after closing up more than 4% to $28.72 on Thursday. Although the online radio company's earnings report was slightly better than expected, a drop in users concerned Wall Street.

Although listener hours grew by 29%, it wasn't enough to assuage shareholders early this morning.

8.
 -- Printer company Xerox (XRX) is forecast by Wall Street to report before the bell today. Despite contracts to provide services to Medicare and Medicaid, as well as a large services contract with South Carolina, ratings company Zacks describes Xerox as unlikely to beat earnings expectations.

In premarket trading, the stock was essentially flat -- down 0.2%. 

9. -- The Chinese tainted-meat scandal continues. While Yum! Brands (YUM) has dropped the offending supplier, Shanghai Husi Food, and its U.S.-based owner, OSI, McDonald's (MCD) has stuck with the company out of necessity.

Japanese McDonald's outlets, however, have switched to a new Thai source for chicken. McDonald's shares were fairly steady in premarket trading, up 0.3%.

10. -- Walmart's (WMT) CEO for U.S. operations, Bill Simon, will be replaced by Gregory Foran. The announcement drew mixed reactions from analysts. Foran previously headed China operations for the retail giant.

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Nora Morrison is a researcher, writer and editor on music, popular culture, and business topics. She is an associate editor at TheStreet, and is on Twitter at No Ticker.

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