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March 19 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

Updated from 6:46 a.m. EDT

Here are 10 things you should know for Wednesday, March 19:   

1.-- U.S. stock futures were higher early Wednesday but global stocks were mixed ahead of a policy announcement from the Federal Reserve later in the afternoon.

Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.4%. China's Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.2%. 

2.-- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Wednesday includes the fourth-quarter current account balance at 8:30 a.m. EDT, and the rates decision from the Federal Open Market Committee at 2 p.m. EDT.

Must Read: Strong Insider Buying Found in the Underlying Holdings of BIZD

3.-- U.S. stocks on Tuesday closed higher after Russian President Vladimir Putin calmed markets by assuring there would be no further moves into Ukraine. Weaker-than-expected housing data released Tuesday isn't expected to see the Federal Reserve vary from its course of cutting bond purchases this week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.55% to finish at 16,336.19, while the  S&P 500 gained 0.72% to 1,872.25. The  Nasdaq added 1.25% to 4,333.31.

4.-- Shipping giant FedEx (FDX - Get Report) said severe winter storms cost it $125 million in its fiscal third quarter, causing the company to miss earnings estimates and to reduce guidance for the remainder of the fiscal year.

FedEx shares fell 0.5% to $137.90 in premarket trading on Wednesday.

5. -- The Justice Department is expected to announce a settlement with Toyota (TM) as early as Wednesday that could cost the automaker more than $1 billion to end a criminal probe into its disclosure of safety issues, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.

The deal would cap a four-year investigation with one of the largest fines ever imposed on an automaker, the Journal noted.

Toyota shares fell 0.5% in premarket trading.

6. -- Oracle's (ORCL - Get Report) fiscal third-quarter earnings rose 2% to $2.57 billion, or 56 cents a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $2.5 billion, or 52 cents. Adjusted profit in the latest quarter was 68 cents.

Revenue rose 4% to $9.31 billion.

Oracle was expected by analysts to post fiscal third-quarter earnings of 70 cents a share on revenue of $9.36 billion.

Revenue from new software licenses and cloud software subscriptions increased 4% to $2.42 billion, as bookings for the company's cloud applications jumped more than 60%. Revenue from software license updates and product support rose 5% to $4.56 billion.

The stock fell 3.1% in premarket trading to $37.62.

7. -- Pandora (P) will raise the fees for its ad-free service by $1 a month to $4.99 a month in May, a move to cover the rising cost of licensing tunes.

Pandora said royalties paid to artists had risen 53% over the past five years and will rise another 9% in 2015, according to Reuters.

Pandora rose 1.5% to $35.50.

8. -- Adobe's (ADBE) fiscal first-quarter earnings, which were inadvertently leaked ahead of schedule Tuesday, topped Wall Street's expectations driven by strength in its marketing cloud.

Excluding one-off items, the software company reported earnings of 30 cents a share on revenue of $1 billion. Analysts expected earnings of 25 cents a share on revenue of $973.1 million.

Quarterly results were bolstered by a surge in Adobe's Marketing Cloud revenue by 24% year over year to $267 million.

Adobe shares rose 0.8% in premarket trading to $69.05.

9. -- Google (GOOG) on Tuesday unveiled an Internet-connected watch.

The "Android Wear" operating system released Tuesday is an altered version of Google's popular software. The new software will run on an array of so-called smartwatches scheduled to be released later this year.

The stock was up 0.3% in premarket trading.

10.-- Japan's Fast Retailing, parent of apparel chain Uniqlo, is no longer in talks to buy U.S. clothing retailer J.Crew Group from its private-equity owners, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

-- 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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