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Morning Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

Tickers in this article: BA CIEN COST DELL JCI P TWX

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Here are 10 things you should know for Thursday, March 7:

1. -- U.S. stock futures were pointing higher Thursday ahead of monetary policy statements from the European Central Bank and the Bank of England.

The ECB is expected to keep interest rates unchanged, but a number of economists predict the BOE will approve an increase in its monetary stimulus program.

European shares were rising in early trading Thursday.

Asian stocks ended the session mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 index had its highest close in four years, rising 0.3% to 11,968.08.

2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. Thursday includes weekly jobless claims, international trade data for January, and fourth-quarter productivity figures, all at 8:30 a.m. EST.

3. -- U.S. stocks on Wednesday finished mixed but the Dow Jones Industrial Average broke its record-high closing for a second-straight day after a better-than-expected ADP employment report.

The Dow rose 42.47 points, or 0.3%, to close at 14,296.24.

The S&P 500 rose 1.67 points, or 0.11%, to finish at 1,541.46. The Nasdaq closed off 1.76 point, or 0.05%, at 3,222.37.

4. -- Carl Icahn reportedly has acquired a stake of about 100 million shares in Dell(DELL) , giving the activist investor a roughly 6% ownership in the PC maker.

People familiar with the situation told CNBC that Icahn has met with advisers for Dell's special committee and urged them to pursue a leveraged recapitalization of the company, rather than the $13.65 a share leveraged buyout by Michael Dell and Silver lake that has been agreed to.

5. -- Time Warner(TWX) plans to spin off Time Inc., the magazine unit that publishes Time, Sports Illustrated and People, into a separate company.

The spinoff likely will take place by the end of 2013.

6. -- The National Transportation Safety Board plans to issue an "interim factual report" at 11 a.m. Thursday on its investigation into a battery fire aboard a Japan Airlines Boeing(BA) 787 Dreamliner plane on Jan. 7, Reuters reported.

7. -- Johnson Controls(JCI) said Wednesday it's exploring a sale of its automotive electronics business. But the company denied a Reuters report that it was looking to sell its auto interiors unit, saying it has no "current intention" to do so.

8. -- Costco Wholesale(COST) , the warehouse retailer, said Thursday that same-store sales in February rose 6%, higher than analysts' expectations.

9. -- Networking specialist Ciena(CIEN) is forecast by analysts Thursday to post a fiscal first-quarter loss of 13 cents a share on revenue of $448.3 million.

10. -- Pandora(P) is forecast by Wall Street to report a fourth-quarter loss on Thursday of 5 cents a share.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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