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Feb. 20 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

Stocks in this article: HPQ TSLA WMT FB SWY PEP

Here are 10 things you should know for Thursday, Feb. 20:   

1.-- U.S. stock futures were pointing lower Thursday ahead of economic data including a read on consumer prices.

Global stocks declined on a contraction in Chinese manufacturing. China's manufacturing tumbled to a seven-month low in February, according to the preliminary results of a HSBC survey of factory purchasing managers.

China's Shanghai Composite edged down 0.2%. Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 2.2%.

European stocks were lower in early trading.

2.-- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Thursday includes weekly initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. EST, the Consumer Price Index for January at 8:30 a.m., the Philadelphia Fed Index at 10 a.m., and leading indicators for January at 10 a.m.

3.-- U.S. stocks on Wednesday fell after minutes of the last Federal Reserve meeting revealed that members debated raising interest rates.

The S&P 500 closed 0.65% lower at 1,828.75, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.56% to 16,040.56. The Nasdaq slid 0.82% to 4,237.95.

4.-- Facebook (FB) clinched a $16 billion deal to acquire mobile messaging company WhatsApp.

The purchase price is made up of $4 billion in cash and about $12 billion worth of Facebook shares. The deal also includes an additional $3 billion in restricted stock units to be granted to WhatsApp's founders and employees that will vest over four years following the deal's closing.

WhatsApp will continue to operate independently and retain its brand following the acquisition's closure and the company's co-founder and CEO Jan Koum will join the social network's board.

More than 450 million people use the mobile messaging service each month and WhatsApp adds more than a million registered users each day.

Shares of Facebook fell 3.5% in premarket trading to $65.68.

5.-- Electric carmaker Tesla (TSLA) reported adjusted fourth-quarter earnings of 33 cents a share on revenue $761 million, topping Wall Street expectations.

Tesla delivered 6,892 Model S units in the qiarter, and had a 25.2% non-GAAP gross margin.

The carmaker said it expects to deliver 35,000 Model S units in 2014, up 55% from a 2013.

Tesla shares rose 12.3% in premarket trading to $217.40.

6. -- Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) is expected by analysts on Thursday to report fiscal first-quarter earnings of 84 cents a share on revenue of $27.19 billion.

7.-- Wal-Mart  (WMT) reported a 21% decline in fourth-quarter profit and delivered a week earnings outlook as economic pressures weigh on its low-income shoppers around the world.

Excluding charges, Wal-Mart earned $1.60 a share in the quarter on a 1.4% increase in revenue to $128.79 billion.

Analysts forecast fourth-quarter earnings of $1.59 a share on sales of $130.23 billion.

8.-- Safeway (SWY) said on Wednesday it is in talks concerning a possible sale of the company.

The No. 2 supermarket chain said that it has not reached an agreement on a transaction and "there can be no assurance that these discussions will lead to an agreement or a completed transaction."

Safeway rose 4.6% in premarket  trading on Thursday to $36.20.

9.-- Nelson Peltz Trian Fund Management is renewing its campaign to split up PepsiCo (PEP), The Wall Street Journal reported. 

PepsiCo said last week it would boost dividends and stock buybacks by 35% this year, but the activist shareholder wasn't satisfied. Trian sent a 37-page letter to PepsiCo's board on Wednesday outlining why it still thinks the snack and drink giant should spin off its struggling beverage business.

Pepsi shares rose 0.4% in premarket trading.

10.-- Fierce clashes between police and protesters in Ukraine's capital erupted anew on Thursday as a truce reached by both sides broke down.

A reporter for The Associated Press has seen 10 bodies laid out on the edge of the protest encampment.

Foreign ministers of three European countries are meeting with Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych on Thursday, the AP reported, citing a presidential aide.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

To contact the writer of this article, click here:Joseph Woelfel

To submit a news tip, send an email to:tips@thestreet.com.

Follow @josephwoe58

 

Copyright 2014 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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