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March 21 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

Stocks in this article: TIF DRI TWTR ZION SYMC NKE

Updated from 7 a.m. EDT

Here are 10 things you should know for Friday, March 21:    

1.-- U.S. stock futures were rising Friday, with the benchmark indices looking at weekly increases of nearly 2%, as encouraging signs on the U.S. economy helped offset surprisingly hawkish statements from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen on Wednesday.

2.-- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Friday is bare.

3.-- U.S. stocks on Thursday rebounded following a spate of housing and manufacturing data that underscored the ongoing economic recovery.  The  Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.67% to 16,331.05, while the  S&P 500 added 0.6% to finish at 1,872.01. The  Nasdaq gained 0.27% to close at 4,319.29.

4.-- The Federal Reserve's annual "stress tests" of the 30 biggest U.S. banks found that all but one of them passed muster with sufficient capital buffers to keep them lending through an economic crisis.

Zions Bancorp (ZION) fell short. The bank posted a fourth-quarter loss as it booked hefty charges related to losses on investment securities and other one-time items. 

The stock fell 1.3% in premarket trading to $32.56.

5. -- Turkey blocked access to Twitter  (TWTR - Get Report) on Friday after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to "rip out the roots" of the social network where links have proliferated to recordings that appear to incriminate him and other top officials in corruption.

The new comes on the same day that Twitter celebrates its eighth anniversary.

Twitter shares fell 0.1%.

6. -- Luxury jewelry retailer Tiffany (TIF) reported a fourth-quarter loss, dragged down by a hefty charge tied to an unfavorable arbitration ruling. 

Adjusted earnings missed Wall Street expectations and its forecast for the year also was short of expectations. 

Tiffany shares fell 2.7% to $88.75.

7. -- Symantec's  (SYMC - Get Report) board terminated Steve Bennett as president and CEO after less than two years at the head of the software maker.

Bennett's departure comes just 20 months after he took the company's reins from Enrique Salem. The former Intuit CEO vowed to breathe new life into Symantec, which had long been criticized for poor execution. Last January, he announced his turnaround plan for the company, which involved streamlining, a complete shift in the company's sales coverage model and a focus on 10 core areas, including information-security services, security gateways, data-center security and storage.

In November, however, he acknowledged that he underestimated the impact of the massive restructuring effort but said he remained confident in his turnaround plan.

Symantec shares were down 9.8% in premarket trading at $18.86.

8. -- Darden Restaurants (DRI) posted fiscal third-quarter earnings of 82 cents a share, in line with estimates. The stock

9.
 -- Nike (NKE) posted fiscal third-quarter net income on Thursday that beat Wall Street expectations.

The sports equipment and apparel maker said orders set to be delivered between March and July rose 12% to $10.9 billion. But future orders in China, where Nike has seen slowing growth, fell 1%.

The company said it will continue to be hurt by the stronger dollar this quarter. 

Nike shares fell 2.6% in premarket trading to $77.20.

10.-- Fitch Ratings affirmed the U.S.'s long-term foreign and local currency issuer default ratings at 'AAA' with stable outlooks. The rating action resolved the negative outlook on which the ratings had been placed previously.

-- 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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