Sept. 3 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Here are 10 things you should know for Wednesday, Sept. 3:

1. -- U.S. stock futures rose and European stocks gained after a potential cease-fire was announced in eastern Ukraine.

Asian stocks finished Wednesday's session mostly higher. Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.4%.

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2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Wednesday includes factory orders for July at 10 a.m. EDT and the Federal Reserve's "Beige Book" for September at 2 p.m.

3. -- U.S. stocks on Tuesday ended mixed. Investors returned from the U.S. Labor Day weekend largely indecisive about their positioning, despite a trio of good U.S. economic reports.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.18% to 17,067.56 and the S&P 500   declined 0.05% to 2,002.28. The Nasdaq  rose 0.39% to 4,598.19.

4. -- CVS (CVS) , the nation's second-largest drugstore chain, is changing its name and stopping the sale of tobacco nearly a month sooner than planned.

CVS Caremark will now be known as CVS Health. The signs on its roughly 7,700 drugstores won't change, so the name change may not register with shoppers.

CVS said earlier this year that it would stop selling tobacco products on Oct. 1. But CEO Larry Merlo said CVS moved up its quit date nearly a month because CVS got ready for the move sooner than it anticipated, not because its distribution centers had already run out of tobacco.

5. -- Automakers such as General Motors (GM) and Ford (F) are expected to release sales for August throughout the day.

Car sales for August are expected to be flat compared with the same month a year earlier, partially because August will have 27 sales days this year, compared with 28 sales days in 2013.

6. -- Home Depot (HD) , the nation's No. 1 home improvement retailer, said it's working with both banks and law enforcement to investigate "unusual activity" that would point to major credit card data breach.

A spokeswoman for Atlanta-based Home Depot said the company is " aggressively gathering facts at this point while working to protect customers." She said the retailer would notify customers immediately if it confirms a breach.

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7. -- Homebuilder Toll Brothers (TOL) reported fiscal third-quarter profit of $97.7 million, or 53 cents a share, up from a year-earlier $46.6 million, or 26 cents a share.

Toll, the largest U.S. luxury homebuilder, sold 1,444 homes in the third quarter compared with 1,059 a year earlier. Toll said the average selling price rose 12% to $732,000.

8. --  Netflix (NFLX) struck a deal with Time Warner's (TWX)  Warner Bros. to secure streaming rights in the U.S. and international markets for "Gotham," a TV show that tells of the city before Batman, and is one of the fall's most anticipated new dramas, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The deal grants Netflix rights to the show in all of the streaming service's territories around the world.

9. -- Apple (AAPL) denied on Tuesday that its iCloud service was breached by hackers who leaked nude photos of celebrities onto the Internet.

Apple said the celebrity accounts were "compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions, a practice that has become all too common on the Internet." 

10. -- Google (GOOGL) said a research team led by physicist John Martinis from the University of California Santa Barbara will join the company to start a project to build new quantum information processors based on superconducting electronics, Reuters reported.

The Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab is a collaboration between Google, NASA Ames Research Center and the Universities Space Research Association to study the application of quantum optimization related to artificial intelligence.

Google, the Internet search giant, has become increasingly focused on artificial intelligence in recent years, Reuters noted.

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-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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Copyright 2014 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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