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March 15, 2018

Sears surprise; Stocks stabilize; iHeartMedia bankruptcy

1. Retail watch: Shares in Sears are set to surge Thursday after the retailer reported better-than-expected fourth quarter results and a boost to profit from US tax changes.

Another major retailer -- Toys "R" Us -- has announced that it will close its doors after 70 years in business.

The iconic toy seller will shut or sell all of its 735 stores in the United States, according to court documents filed early Thursday. About 31,000 US jobs are at risk.

2. BrokenHeartMedia: San Antonio-based iHeartMedia has filed for bankruptcy after being crippled by falling revenue and piles of debt.

The company is best known for operating about 850 radio stations across the United States.

3. Moving out: Unilever has selected the Dutch city of Rotterdam as the location of its corporate headquarters, ending nearly a century of residency in London.

The consumer goods company said in a statement Thursday that it would use Rotterdam as its sole legal home amid a broader shake up of its corporate structure.

Unilever shares will continue to be listed in London, Amsterdam and New York. The company said that its 10,000 employees in the Netherlands and the UK would not be affected.

The company owns brands including Dove and Lipton.

4. Stocks stabilize: US stock futures were inching up after a rough trading session on Wednesday.

The Dow slid 249 points, or 1%, after President Donald Trump escalated threats to clamp down on China. The S&P 500 dropped 0.6%, and the Nasdaq shed 0.2%.

European markets posted minor gains and losses in early trading. Asian markets ended mixed.

5. Earnings: Shares in German airline Lufthansa were flat after the company reported solid growth in revenue and earnings for 2017. CEO Carsten Spohr said it was "the best result in the history of our company."

Dollar General is releasing earnings before the US open. Adobe Systems and Broadcom will follow after the close.

Broadcom withdrew a $117 billion offer for its rival Qualcomm on Wednesday after Trump stopped the deal, citing national security concerns.

6. Coming this week: Thursday -- Broadcom earnings Friday -- Tiffany earnings

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