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Feb. 28 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

Updated from 6:45 a.m. EST

Here are 10 things you should know for Friday, Feb. 28:   

1.-- U.S. stock futures were suggesting Wall Street would open lower Friday ahead of economic growth data and a sentiment survey.

European stocks were flat to lower ans investors remained cautious amid the political turmoil in Ukraine.

Asian shares finished the session mostly with gains. but Japan's Nikkei 225 index bucked the trend and declined 0.6%. 

2.-- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Friday includes the second estimate of fourth-quarter GDP at 8:30 a.m. EST, Chicago PMI for February at 9:45 a.m., the final University of Michigan Sentiment Index for February at 9:55 a.m. and pending home sales for January at 10 a.m.

3.-- U.S. stocks on Thursday rose after Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen reiterated that Fed policy would remain accommodative even as the central bank wound back stimulus.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.46% to close at 16,272.71 while the S&P 500 rose 0.50% to close at a record high of 1,854.30. The Nasdaq gained 0.63% to finish at 4,318.93.

4.-- The Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange in Tokyo filed for bankruptcy protection, acknowledging that a significant amount of the virtual currency had gone missing.

The exchange's CEO Mark Karpeles appeared before Japanese TV news cameras Friday, bowing deeply for several minutes.

He said a weakness in the exchange's systems was behind the massive loss of the virtual currency.

Kyodo News said debts at Mt. Gox totaled more than 6.5 billion yen ($65 million), surpassing its assets.

5.-- Apple's (AAPL - Get Report) annual shareholder meeting is Friday at 12 p.m.

On the agenda, are the standard board approval measures plus proposals from Apple's board to remove the board's "blank check" authority to issue preferred stock, and changes to the way board members would be elected in the future, reported the Mac Observer.

There are four shareholder proposals up for consideration, including a Carl Icahn-proposed measure from which Icahn has since withdrawn his support, according to Mac Observer.

Forbes reported it wouldn't be surprising if Peter Oppenheimer announced his retirement at the meeting since he has been chief financial officer since June 2004. 

The stock fell 0.1% in premarket trading.

6. -- PepsiCo (PEP) again have rejected a proposal from Nelson Peltz's Trian Fund Management to split up the company.

Earlier this month, PepsiCo said it would boost dividends and stock buybacks by 35% this year, but Peltz, the activist shareholder, wasn't satisfied. Trian sent a 37-page letter to PepsiCo's board outlining why it thought the snack and drink company should spin off its struggling beverage business.

-- Salesforce.com (CRM - Get Report), the cloud computing giant, posted fourth-quarter earnings and revenue that topped forecasts, updated its full-year projections, and announced that Chief Financial Officer Graham Smith would retire.

Shares rose 0.7% in premarket trading to $66.70.

8.-- Gap (GPS) reported Thursday that fourth-quarter profit declined 12.5% as the clothing chain, which operates Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic, discounted heavily over the holiday shopping season. 

Gap also issued a profit outlook for 2014 that's below analysts' expectations.

Gap shares fell 1.2% in premarket trading to $43.16.

9. -- Liberty Media (LMCA) reported fourth-quarter earnings of $65 million as revenue rose 12% to $1 billion.

10.
-- Quiznos, the sandwich chain, is preparing to file for bankruptcy-court protection within weeks as it contends with unhappy franchisees and a $570 million debt load, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people with direct knowledge of the matter.

-- 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

 

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