NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Here are 10 things you should know for Thursday, Dec. 4:
1. -- U.S. stock futures rose and European shares were higher as traders waited Thursday for decisions on interest rates and possible quantitative easing from the European Central Bank.
Asian stocks ended Thursday's session with gains.
2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Thursday includes weekly initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. EST.
3. -- U.S. stocks on Wednesday rose and the S&P 500 inched to another record high after the release of the Federal Reserve's Beige Book showed the economy is still gaining strength.
The S&P 500 rallied to a new record close of 2,074.33, up 0.38%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.18% to notch another record high, its second in as many days. The Nasdaq added 0.39%.
4. -- Best Buy (BBY) said Thursday it plans to sell its struggling China business, Five Star, to Jiayuan Group, a China-based real estate firm.
The sale, Best Buy said in a statement, doesn't affect its private label operations in China.
"The sale of Five Star does not suggest any similar action in Canada or Mexico. Instead, it allows us to focus even more on our North American business," the company said.
Best Buy operates 184 stores in China, all under the Five Star brand.
5. -- Retailer Sears (SHLD) posted a fiscal third-quarter loss on Thursday of $5.15 a share, wider than a year-earlier loss of $5.03 a share.
The adjusted loss in the period was $2.71 a share, narrower than analysts' forecasts of a loss of $3.31 a share.
Sales in the quarter fell to $7.21 billion from $8.27 billion last year. Sears said full-line domestic same-store sales fell 0.7% in the quarter.
Online sales rose about 9%, Sears said.
6. -- Google (GOOGL) plans to boost the commissions it pays some outside firms to sell its workplace software, signaling a more serious challenge to Microsoft's (MSFT) dominance at larger companies, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The outside firms, known as resellers, now keep 20% of the revenue from Google's Apps for Work software and services. One common package, which includes Gmail, Docs word processing and Drive cloud storage, is sold to companies for $50 a year per user; Google charges $40, leaving $10 for the reseller, according the Journal.
Google will increase these commissions for top-performing resellers to encourage them to sign up more corporate customers, help employees use the software, and fix technical problems, the people told the Journal.
The company has yet to unveil the new commission structure.
7. -- Discount retailer Dollar General (DG) is forecast to earn 80 cents a share in the third quarter on sales of $4.78 billion.
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8. -- Ford (F) said Wednesday it would expand the recall of vehicles in the U.S. with passenger-side airbags made by Japan's Takata. Ford said the recall would include states outside of the initial high-humidity zones.
The latest recall includes about 38,500 vehicles in the U.S., bringing the total number of Ford vehicles being recalled for issues related to Takata air bags to close to 100,000.
9. -- Bookseller Barnes & Noble (BKS) is expected to report on Thursday third-quarter earnings of 31 cents a share, up from year-earlier earnings of 15 cents.
Analysts forecast revenue of $1.69 billion, down from $1.73 last year.
10. -- Intel (INTC) said it plans to invest up to $1.6 billion over the next 15 years at its chip plant in Chengdu, China.
Intel said the money would be used to upgrade plants that assemble and test chips.
Intel has bet big on China in the past year as it seeks to catch up in the mobile sector, where its market share remains low, according to the Journal.
-- Written by Joseph Woelfel
To contact the writer of this article, click here:Joseph Woelfel