Sept. 4 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Here are 10 things you should know for Thursday, Sept. 4:

1. -- U.S. stock futures were mixed and European shares struggled for direction ahead of a European Central Bank meeting and a U.S. docket filled with economic data.

Asian shares ended Thursday's session lower. Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.3%.

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2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Thursday includes the ADP National Employment Report for August at 8:15 a.m. EDT, weekly initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m., the trade balance for July at 8:30 a.m., second-quarter nonfarm productivity and costs at 8:30 a.m., and the ISM Services index for August at 10 a.m.

3. -- U.S. stocks on Wednesday lost momentum as the markets looked ahead to a trio of interest-rate setting results on Thursday and the big U.S. jobs report on Friday. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.06% to 17,078.28. The S&P 500 declined 0.08% to 2,000.72 after reaching a record intraday high of 2,009.28. The Nasdaq   declined 0.56% to 4,572.57. 

4. -- Carl Icahn has sold his entire stake in Family Dollar (FDO) , making a profit of about $200 million on the investment, Reuters reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Dollar Tree (DLTR) agreed in July to buy Family Dollar for $8.5 billion but the company has received a higher bid since then of $9.1 billion from Dollar General (DG) .

Icahn, the billionaire investor, became Family Dollar's largest shareholder in June, when he disclosed a 9.4% stake in the deep discount retailer and pushed the company to sell itself, Reuters noted.

At the end of July, Icahn disclosed he had reduced his position to 3.61%.

5. -- Electric carmaker Tesla (TSLA)   is finalizing terms of a deal to build its first lithium-ion battery plant in Nevada and will make an announcement about the deal on Thursday, according to multiple reports.

Tesla is working on the details, but all signs point to Nevada as the choice for the company's $5 billion "gigafactory," a source told Reuters.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval will hold a news conference on Thursday in Carson City, Nev., to make a "major economic development announcement," according to a media advisory from the state. Tesla spokesman Simon Sproule declined to give details to Reuters but confirmed Tesla officials would be at the event.

6. -- Michael Bloomberg is returning to lead the financial data and news company he founded in 1981 but left to serve three terms as New York mayor.

The company, Bloomberg LP, said Wednesday that current CEO Daniel Doctoroff will step down at the end of the year.

Doctoroff was a deputy mayor under Bloomberg. His departure makes way for Bloomberg to take back the helm of the company, of which he still owns more than 85%.

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7. -- Apple (AAPL) shares fell 4.36% on Wednesday to $98.94, shedding $26 billion of the company's market value on the day, following a research note from Pacific Crest Securities that said to sell shares ahead of an event on Sept. 9, where the company is expected to unveil its latest iPhone

"We recommend taking profits in AAPL. Unless next week's event details massive incremental profit opportunities, we are likely to downgrade AAPL's rating," said Andy Hargreaves of Pacific Crest Securities.

8. -- Goldman Sachs (GS) landed the role of "stabilization agent" in Alibaba's upcoming initial public offering, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Goldman will be in charge of overseeing the deal's early share trading. The role was sought by banks currently working on Alibaba's IPO because of the prestige and potential additional fees and trading commissions that could be generated from overseeing the trading, people familiar with the matter told the Journal.

9. -- Network equipment maker Ciena (CIEN) is expected by analysts on Thursday to report fiscal third-quarter earnings of 28 cents a share on revenue of $600.8 million.

10. -- Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) said Thursday it would speed up the process to create a vaccine regime against Ebola, the virus that has claimed more than 1,900 lives in West Africa.

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-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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