1. -- U.S. stock futures were mixed Wednesday as investors awaited the release of the minutes from the Federal Reserve meeting in March, and a snapshot on the U.S. labor market.
European stocks also were trading mixed while Asian shares finished Wednesday's session with gains.
The economic calendar in the U.S. on Wednesday also includes the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index for March at 10 a.m., and Oil Inventories for the week ended March 31, at 10:30 a.m.
The stock fell 1% in premarket trading on Wednesday.
2. -- Shares of Panera Bread (PNRA were rising 13% in premarket trading on Wednesday to $310 after the salad and sandwich chain agreed to be bought by JAB Holdings for about $7.5 billion.
Panera said Wednesday it will be acquired by JAB Holdings for $315 a share in cash. The purchase prices represents a 30% premium to Panera's 30-day average stock price as of March 31, the last trading day before speculation arose about a potential transaction.
"Our success for shareholders is the byproduct of our commitment to long-term decision making and operating in the interest of all stakeholders, including guests, associates, and franchisees," Panera Bread founder Ron Shaich said in a statement. "We believe this transaction with JAB offers the best way to continue to operate with this approach. We are pleased to join with JAB, a private investor with an equally long-term perspective, as well as a deep commitment to our strategic plan."
Panera Bread is a logical fit for JAB Holdings, the growing food conglomerate that owns Krispy Kreme, Keurig and Peet's Coffee, among other assets. Joining forces with JAB will bring the Panera Brand overseas and leverage its top-flight digital ordering capabilities across many other channels.
The 10 games broadcast by NBC and CBS next season will be available to Amazon Prime subscribers.
Separately, Amazon reached an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission to end litigation that was holding up the reimbursement of more than $70 million in unauthorized in-app purchases made by children.
The FTC sued Amazon in 2014, accusing it of allowing children to make purchases without their guardians' permission while using apps on tablets such as the Kindle Fire.
The Kansas-based discount shoe store operator said it plans to immediately close nearly 400 underperforming locations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico and "work to aggressively manage the remaining real estate lease portfolio either by modifying terms, or evaluating closures of additional locations."
"This is a difficult, but necessary, decision driven by the continued challenges of the retail environment which will only intensify," Payless CEO Paul Jones said in a statement.
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