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Jan. 9 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

Tickers in this article: AA AAPL APPL BBRY BLK DISH IBM M

Here are 10 things you should know for Thursday, Jan. 9: 

1.-- U.S. stock futures were trading slightly lower Thursday, following Asian shares to the downside on worries the Federal Reserve will move more quickly than expected to wind down stimulus for the U.S. economy.

European shares were flat early Wednesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 index declined 1.5%.

2.-- The  economic calendar  in the U.S. Thursday includes weekly initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. EST.

3.-- U.S. stocks  on Wednesday stumbled as minutes of the most recent Fed  meeting revealed vigorous debate before policymakers decided to cut stimulus, adding to speculation that the central bank will continue to reduce the bond-buying that has helped to underwrite equities for the past 18 months.

The S&P 500  closed little changed at 1,837.49, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.41% to finish at 16,462.74. The Nasdaq added 0.3% to 4,165.61.

4.-- Dish Network is officially pulling its bid for LightSquared, the bankrupt telecommunications company, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Dish had coveted LightSquared's wireless spectrum.

Dish, the satellite TV provider, offered $2.2 billion for LightSquared last year. Dish is expected to announce the termination of the offer as early as Thursday.

5.-- Executives from Apple and Samsung agreed to meet to discuss settling a bitter two-year legal battle over designs and technologies of smartphones and tablets.

A filing with the U.S. District court in San Jose showed Thursday that senior legal executives from Apple and Samsung agreed earlier this week that the CEOs will meet by or before Feb. 19, The Associated Press reported.

The agreement was made in response to a court order to submit a proposal for settlement discussions before a new trial begins in March. The March trial involves more recent mobile devices than previous cases.

Many industry watchers predict the two companies will ultimately settle their patent lawsuits outside court, the AP reported.

6.-- IBM's  Watson supercomputer , which made a headline-grabbing debut on  Jeopardy in 2011, will spearhead the tech giant's latest efforts to tap cloud and big data dollars. 

The Armonk, N.Y., company is setting up a New York City-based business unit devoted to Watson. Based at 51 Astor Place in New York's "Silicon Alley" tech hub, the Watson Group will focus on cloud-based innovation and also will help customers cope with the challenge of big data, which refers to the management of vast quantities of unstructured data, or information that is outside the realm of traditional databases.

7.-- Alcoa , the aluminum maker that unofficially kicks off earnings season, is expected by Wall Street on Thursday to report fourth-quarter earnings of 6 cents a share on revenue of $5.34 billion. 

8.-- Macy's  announced Wednesday it plans to cut 2,500 jobs, shut down five underperforming stores and open eight others.