Aug. 21 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Here are 10 things you should know for Thursday, Aug. 21:

1. -- U.S. stock futures rose and European stocks gained early Thursday but Asian shares ended mixed after a weak China manufacturing survey.

U.S. investors will turn their attention to Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and her speech on Friday at an annual conference of central bankers and other policymakers in Jackson Hole, Wyo., following minutes from the Fed meeting in July that hinted at a more hawkish central bank.

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2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Thursday includes weekly initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. EDT, existing home sales for July at 10 a.m., the Philadelphia Fed Index for August at 10 a.m., and leading indicators for July at 10 a.m.

3. -- U.S. stocks on Wednesday ended mostly higher despite a more hawkish tone from the Federal Reserve in the minutes of its last policy-making meeting in July.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.35% to close at 16,979.13. The S&P 500 rose 0.25% to 1,986.51. The Nasdaq slipped 0.02% to 4,526.48.

4. -- Bank of America's much-anticipated settlement with the U.S. Justice Department over fraudulent mortgage securities the bank sold to investors is less punitive than the $17 billion price tag suggests and doesn't address the wrongs it purports to remedy.

According to the Associated Press, the settlement could be announced as soon as Thursday. As was the case with a $13 billion JPMorgan Chase settlement in November and a $7 billion settlement with Citigroup last month, the Bank of America settlement will include a multibillion non-cash component.

While the $10 billion cash figure being reported by the AP service is higher than the $9 billion that sources described to TheStreet earlier this month, it nonetheless would give the bank $7 billion credit for modifying mortgages that may already have been in its best interest to modify.

5. -- Hewlett-Packard reported a 29% decline in fiscal third-quarter earnings as the personal computer and printer maker absorbed the costs of employee layoffs and acquisitions.

HP earned $985 million, or 52 cents a share, for the quarter ended in July, down from year-earlier earnings of $1.4 billion, or 71 cents a share.

Adjusted earnings in the quarter were 89 cents a share, matching analysts' estimates.

Revenue in the quarter was $27.6 billion, up 1% from a year earlier and ahead of Wall Street estimates.

6. -- Activist investor Carl Icahn has taken a stake of more than 8% in Hertz Global Holdings and may seek representation on the rental car company's board, as it works to resolve accounting restatements, missed earnings and a delayed spinoff of its equipment rental business.

A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission showed that Icahn acquired more than 6.5 million Hertz shares on Wednesday.

Hertz disclosed on Tuesday that it wouldn't be able to meet the low-end of its earnings guidance and had decided to scrap future guidance outright. The company also disclosed continued delays to its accounting restatements and its planned spinoff of its equipment rental business. Two board directors resigned on Tuesday.