Three things to follow Thursday:
Fast and Furious hearing: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder faces what is expected to be a stormy congressional hearing on a flawed gun sting operation known as Fast and Furious.
Holder on Thursday is due to testify in front of a House panel investigating possible wrongdoing in the operation, which was run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The progam, which began in 2009, allowed illegally purchased firearms to be taken from gun stores in Arizona across the U.S.-Mexico border to drug cartels. The intent was to monitor the flow of weapons to their ultimate destination.
However, hundreds of weapons were lost or unaccounted for, and a storm of outrage erupted when two of the missing weapons were found at the site where Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was killed last December.
About 1,400 internal documents about the operation were delivered to three congressional committees last week. One Republican senator on Wednesday called on Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer to resign, alleging that Breuer had been dishonest with Congress about his knowledge of Operation Fast and Furious.
European Union summit: Investors in the United States and elsewhere will be looking for a number of news items from Europe on Thursday, including a European Union summit in Brussels, Belgium, focused on resolving the region's debt problems and saving the euro.
Leaders are expected to discuss a new fiscal pact, cooked up by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, that is designed to help prevent another debt crisis. The pact will involve amending or rewriting the treaties that govern the European Union, Sarkozy and Merkel said this week. The agreement includes automatic sanctions for member states that fail to keep budget deficits under 3% of gross domestic product. It would change existing laws to make it easier for EU regulators to challenge budget policies of member nations, and it would require governments to enshrine a "golden rule" in national constitutions, which would likely require committing to balanced budgets, according to CNNMoney.
Investors also will await the European Central Bank's and Bank of England's decisions on interest rates Thursday. The ECB is widely expected to cut interest rates by up to 0.5%, as the risk of a broad recession in Europe continues to rise, CNNMoney reports.
Fine accuser set to file lawsuit: Attorneys for a man who accuses a former Syracuse University basketball coach of molesting him when he was a minor have scheduled a Thursday news conference to announce their intention to file a civil suit against the ex-coach.
Zachary Tomaselli was the third man to allege publicly that Bernie Fine molested him when he was 13.
Authorities said they are investigating the allegations. On Wednesday, a district attorney in New York said that despite credible allegations from two other men, he couldn't bring charges against Fine because the statute of limitations had expired. Fine, who was an assistant basketball coach at Syracuse University for 35 years, was fired last month over the allegations that he sexually abused boys, which he has denied. Fine has not been charged.