U.S. stock futures remained steady Thursday morning as investors weighed a surprise drop in jobless claims. According to data from the U.S. Department of Labor, jobless claims fell to the lowest level seen since April 2006 last week. Investors are paying rapt attention to economic data in an attempt to gauge if the economy is ready for the Federal Reserve to begin cutting back on stimulus. The Fed is set to meet next week.
Futures at 8:30 a.m.: DJIA: -0.02%, S&P 500: -0.07%, NASDAQ: +0.13%.
Here’s your cheat sheet to what’s buzzing Thursday morning.
Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) is set to finally land in the arms of founder Michael Dell. A shareholder vote on Thursday is expected to approve Michael Dell’s $25 billion offer to take the PC maker private. Michael Dell had been in a bidding war with activist investor Carl Icahn for months, but earlier this week, Icahn dropped out of the race. Michael Dell partnered with Silver Lake Management to finance the deal.
Pandora (NYSE:P) has finally tapped a new CEO after announcing in March that current CEO Joe Kennedy was stepping down. Former ad executive Brian McAndrews will take Kennedy’s place. McAndrews was likely attractive to Pandora because of his experience in the ad world, which could help the Internet radio provider find new ways to monetize its service. Pandora needs to step up its game in the face of high royalties and new competition from Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) competing iTunes Radio.
Vivendi (VIVHY.PK) is reportedly exploring splitting itself in two, as the French media company has found that its telecom unit SFR and the rest of its media businesses, including Universal Music Group and pay-TV provider Canal+, have no useful synergies. The plan to split has been under discussion for more than a year, with Chairman Jean-Rene Fourtou stalling the deal, which has led to tension with Vice Chairman Vincent Bollore.
Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) customers in Germany are now vulnerable from a cyberattack on the company in which hackers stole the personal information of 2 million Vodafone Germany customers. The hackers weren’t able to obtain credit card information, PIN numbers, or passwords, but did access information on customers’ birth dates, names, addresses, gender, and account numbers. Vodafone said a suspect has been identified and that his home was searched.
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