Updated from 5:59 a.m. EST
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Here are five things you must know for Thursday, Dec. 22:
1. -- U.S. stock futures posted slight losses, indicating that the Dow Jones Industrial Average will be even further away from the historical 20,000 mark when markets open Thursday, as investors awaited data on U.S. growth and durable goods.
European stocks traded lower Thursday amid a modest pullback in global equities and a softer U.S. dollar.
Shares of Monte Paschi (BMDPY) whipsawed again Thursday as speculation over a government-led bailout intensified amid disappointing results from the Italy's third-largest bank to raise its own capital.
Asian shares ended Thursday's session mixed.
The economic calendar in the U.S. on Thursday includes the third estimate of third-quarter U.S. Gross Domestic Product at 8:30 a.m. EST, weekly Initial Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m., Durable Goods Orders for November at 8:30 a.m., the FHFA Housing Price Index for October at 9 a.m., Leading Indicators for November at 10 a.m., and Personal Income and Personal Spending for November at 10 a.m.
Rite Aid (RAD) reported adjusted third-quarter earnings of 2 cents a share, below Wall Street estimates of 4 cents. Revenue of $8.09 billion also missed forecasts.
The stock fell 0.5% in premarket trading on Thursday.
Oil for February delivery fell 0.4% early Thursday to $52.28 a barrel.
2. -- Billionaire corporate-raider turned activist Carl Icahn was named special adviser to President-elect Donald Trump on overhauling federal regulations, a role that could help advance his insurgent fund's agenda because it will involve helping the White House pick a new chairman for the nation's securities regulator.
"Carl was with me from the beginning and with his being one of the world's great businessmen, that was something I truly appreciated," said Trump in a statement on Wednesday. "He is not only a brilliant negotiator, but also someone who is innately able to predict the future especially having to do with finances and economies. His help on the strangling regulations that our country is faced with will be invaluable."
Icahn reportedly will be involved in helping the Trump transition team pick the next chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Several recent reports suggested that Trump is likely to pick Debra Wong Yang, a former U.S. attorney and partner in the Los Angelese office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP as the next SEC chief.
3. -- Donald Trump extracted a promise from Boeing's (BA) CEO, Dennis Muilenburg, that the cost of replacing Air Force One would not exceed $4 billion, Reuters reported.
Trump met Wednesday with Muilenburg and Marillyn Hewson, CEO of Lockheed Martin (LMT) -- two defense companies he has said have projects that are too expensive.
"Trying to get the costs down, costs. Primarily the (Lockheed Martin) F-35, we're trying to get the cost down. It's a program that's very, very expensive," Trump told reporters after meeting with the CEOs and a dozen Pentagon officials involved with defense acquisition programs, Reuters reported.
Boeing was caught off guard earlier this month when Trump complained about the high costs for replacing aging Air Force One planes. Muilenburg called his meeting with Trump "productive" and spoke admiringly of Trump's "business head-set," according to Reuters.
4. -- Regulators in California revoked the registrations of the self-driving cars Uber had been using in San Francisco after a week of failed talks between the state and the ride-hailing company, officials said Wednesday.
Hours after Uber launched the service last Wednesday, the state's Department of Motor Vehicles threatened legal action. The cars need the same special permit as the 20 other companies testing self-driving technology in California, regulators argued.
Uber maintained it doesn't need a permit because the cars aren't sophisticated enough to continuously drive themselves, although the company promotes them as "self-driving."
In other self-driving car news, reports said Japanese automaker Honda (HMC) was in talks with Waymo, Alphabet's (GOOGL) autonomous driving unit, to try to strike a deal that would put its self-driving technology into some Honda cars.
Both companies stressed that the talks are about research at this point, rather than full production vehicles, according to Bloomberg. If all goes well, Honda may provide Waymo with vehicles that are modified to run the self-driving system, and those cars would join the existing Waymo fleet currently being tested in four U.S. cities.
The stock of the Swiss biotech company has risen around 45% since it first confirmed in late November that it was in talks with Johnson & Johnson.
Actelion's latest statement came just a week after the two groups ended talks that could have led to a $27 billion takeover of Actelion and ignited speculation of a counter bid from France's Sanofi (SNY) .
Both Actelion and New Brunswick, N.J.-based J&J said there's no guarantee the talks would lead to any sort of transaction. Actelion has been under pressure to find new drugs to replace revenue from its blockbuster Tracleer treatment for pulmonary hypertension, which lost patent protection a year ago.