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Jan. 2 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

Tickers in this article: AAPL GOOG LNDC MSFT WMT

Here are 10 things you should know for Thursday, Jan. 2: 

1.-- U.S. stock futures were scheduled to begin trading at 6 a.m. EST on Thursday. Global stock markets were mixed Thursday amid weaker Chinese manufacturing data.

European stocks were trading higher. China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closed down by 0.3%. Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.

-- The  economic calendar  in the U.S. Thursday includes weekly initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. EST, construction spending for November at 10 a.m., and the ISM Index for December at 10 a.m.

3.-- U.S. stocks  rose on Tuesday, the last day of 2013, a year in which the S&P 500  soared 29.6%, the most since 1997. 

The S&P 500 closed up 0.4% to finish 1,848.36. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.44% to 16,576.66. The Nasdaq added 0.54% to 4,176.59. The Dow surged 28.1% and the Nasdaq jumped 41.1% in 2013.

The market was closed Wednesday for the New Year's Day holiday.

4.-- Fiat, the Italian automaker, reached a deal with the United Auto Workers union trust fund to buy the remaining shares of Chrysler for $3.65 billion. 

Fiat already owns 58.5% of Chrysler's shares; the remaining 41.5% is held by the fund, which pays health care bills for retirees.

Fiat will make an initial payment of $1.9 billion to the fund, plus an additional $1.75 billion upon closing the deal, according to The Associated Press .

"The unified ownership structure will now allow us to fully execute our vision of creating a global automaker that is truly unique in terms of mix of experience, perspective and know-how, a solid and open organization," Sergio Marchionne, CEO of both Fiat and Chrysler, said in a statement.

The deal, which is expected to close on or before Jan. 20, eliminates the need for an initial public offering of the union fund's stake.

5.-- Motorola Mobility , a unit of Google , slashed the price of its flagship Moto X smartphone with 16 gigabytes of memory to a permanent $399 without a wireless contract for U.S. customers, from $550.

The company offered the Moto X for brief periods in December at $349, but the latest price drop isn't a temporary promotion, according to The Wall Street Journal .

Samsung's flagship device, the Galaxy S4, costs $600 at Verizon Wireless for a 16-gigabyte model without a wireless contract. Apple's  5S costs $650 at Verizon for a 16-gigabyte model without a contract.

6.-- Apple played no role in the National Security Agency's alleged efforts to hack the iPhone, saying  was unaware of a recently revealed program apparently aimed at turning the smartphone into an improvised listening device.

Apple said never worked with the NSA to deliberately weaken its products, promising that it would "defend our customers from security attacks, regardless of who's behind them."