Morning Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Here are 10 things you should know for Thursday, Feb. 21:
1. -- U.S. stock futures were pointing to losses for Wall Street Thursday on indications the Federal Reserve is looking for ways to end its accommodative monetary policy.
European stocks were trading lower. Asian shares ended Thursday's session with sharp losses. Japan's Nikkei 225 index declined 1.4% to close at 11,309.13.
2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. Thursday includes weekly jobless claims from the Labor Department and the Consumer Price Index. Both reports are scheduled for release at 8:30 a.m. EST.
Economists forecast an increase in jobless claims to 355,000 from 341,000 the prior week, according to Reuters.
The National Association of Realtors is expected to issue its January existing home sales report at 10 a.m. The leading economic indicators report, released by the Conference Board, also is due at 10 a.m.
3. -- U.S. stocks on Wednesday posted deep losses after the Federal Reserve's minutes from its January meeting suggested many officials are open to changing the central bank's stimulus program.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 108 points, or 0.8%, to finish at 13,928.
The S&P 500 fell 19 points, or 1.2%, to 1,512. Nasdaq was off 49 points, or 1.5%, to end at 3,164.
4. -- Wal-Mart Stores(WMT) , the world's biggest retailer, is expected by analysts Thursday to post fourth-quarter earnings of $1.57 a share on revenue of $128.85 billion.
Analysts expect Wal-Mart's namesake U.S. business to post a same-store sales increase of 1.4% in the quarter.
Last year, Wal-Mart earned $1.45 a share on net sales of $122.47 billion.