Greece’s debt deadline, and retailers report — 5 things to know today by Tom Huddleston, Jr. @FortuneMagazine May 14, 2015, 6:25 AM EDT E-mail Tweet Facebook Google Plus Linkedin Share icons Hello friends and Fortune readers. Wall Street stock futures are well bid early Thursday, free of the baggage of European markets that are largely closed for the Ascension Day holiday. Today’s must-read story is by Fortune‘s Matthew Ingram and it looks at how Facebook’s new “Instant Articles” project turns the social networking giant into both a partner and competitor for traditional media companies. Here’s what else you need to know about: 1. Greece calls for key debt payments to ECB to be pushed back As Greece lurches closer to default, Yannis Varoufakis, the country’s flamboyant and polarizing finance minister, broke one of the key taboos over its debt crisis Thursday, calling for the rescheduling of two big debt repayments in July. Analysts say his chances of success with that are slim. 2. Applied Materials and more tech earnings The Santa Clara, Calif.-based semiconductor equipment supplier will issue its first quarterly earnings report since the implosion of its $29 million merger with Tokyo Electron. The companies said last week they would scrap the mega-deal due to the opposition of the U.S. Justice Department. Applied Materials AMAT is expected to report slightly higher second-quarter revenue and investors will be keen to hear more about how the company plans to move forward without a merger. Other tech companies reporting earnings today include Symantec Corp. SYMC , which makes the Norton antivirus software and is expected to post strong fourth-quarter results thanks to increased spending on cyber security in the private and public sectors. Meanwhile, “Candy Crush” creator King Digital Entertainment KING is expected to report higher bookings for its online games in the first quarter. 3. More department store earnings Kohl’s Corp. KSS and Nordstrom Inc. JWN report first-quarter earnings today and their investors likely hope the department store operators’ results are less disappointing than those reported Wednesday morning by Macy’s, which blamed a drop-off in comparable sales on everything from poor winter weather to tourists made thrifty by the strong U.S. dollar. Kohl’s is expected to report strong first-quarter profits thanks to growing same-store sales that were boosted an uptick in ad spending and an expanded customer loyalty program. Nordstrom, however, could see a dip in earnings on account of increased costs. 4. Weekly jobless claims The U.S. Labor Department is expected to report an increase in weekly jobless claims today, with the total number of claims jumping to 275,000 last week from 265,000 the previous week. The report follows last week’s U.S. employment report for April, which showed the national economy added 223,000 jobs last month in a solid rebound from a poor showing in March. 5. Can El Pollo Loco cook up strong sales? The grilled chicken chain reports first-quarter earnings this afternoon and investors will be watching to see if the company cuts its forecast for full-year comparable restaurants sales. El Pollo Loco LOCO is one of a handful of restaurant chains that sparked market interest with a hot IPO in recent years. Like fellow restaurant chain Noodles & Co. NDLS , El Pollo Loco’s stock came back down to earth somewhat earlier this year after soaring following a successful IPO, though the chicken chain’s shares are now once again trading higher than the $24 per share they were fetching the day they hit the market.