Morning Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Here are 10 things you should know for Thursday, March 21:
1. -- U.S. stock futures were pointing to a flat to lower open on Wall Street Thursday, pausing after the Federal Reserve pledged continued stimulus support and business activity appeared to have slowed in Germany, Europe's biggest economy.
European shares were trading lower. The European Central Bank on Thursday gave Cyprus a deadline of Monday on finding a solution to raising ¿5.8 billion in funds to meet requirements under a ¿10 billion bailout package after the Cypriot parliament rejected the proposal for levies on Cyprus bank accounts.
Asian stocks ended Thursday's session mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 1.3% to 12,635.69.
2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. Thursday includes initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. EDT, existing-home sales for February at 10 a.m., and leading indicators for February at 10 a.m.
3. -- U.S. stocks on Wednesday closed higher as the Federal Reserve's policy-making announcement forecast a return to moderate economic growth and repeated its commitment to stimulate the economy by buying bonds and other securities.
The S&P 500 rose 0.67% to 1,558.71 to end a three-day skid.
The Nasdaq closed up by 0.78% to 3,254.19 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 55.91 points, or 0.39%, to 14,511.73.
4. -- The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged Wednesday as it said the labor market is showing signs of improvement and suggested that the economy is returning to moderate economic growth.
5. -- Oracle (ORCL) , the business software maker, posted fiscal third-quarter earnings and revenue below analysts' estimates.