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March 26 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

Updated from 7:04 a.m. EDT

Here are 10 things you should know for Wednesday, March 26:    

1.-- U.S. stock futures were rising Wednesday while European and Asian shares gained as investors anticipated further stimulus measures from Europe and China.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index finished with a gain of 0.4%.

2.-- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Wednesday includes durable-goods orders for February at 8:30 a.m. EDT.

3.-- U.S. stocks on Tuesday closed higher Tuesday amid the release of housing data which underscored the ongoing economic recovery despite being slightly below expectations. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.56% to close at 16,367.88, while the S&P 500 rose 0.44% to 1,865.62. The Nasdaq gained 0.19% to finish at 4,234.27.

Must Read: The Deal: Europe Rebounds but Asian Shares Fall on Growth Concerns

4.-- Facebook (FB - Get Report) announced Tuesday the acquisition of virtual reality company Oculus VR, maker of the popular Oculus Rift virtual reality platform, for $2 billion in cash and stock.

Facebook said it expects to close the deal in the second quarter.

Oculus is best known for its virtual reality headset, the Oculus Rift. 

"Mobile is the platform of today, and now we're also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow," said Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, in apress release. "Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate."

Facebook shares fell 0.02% to $64.88 in premarket trading on Wednesday.

5. -- King Digital, the maker of mobile game "Candy Crush Saga," raised $499.5 million in an initial public offering that values the Irish company at about $7.1 billion.

Shares priced at $22.50 each, the middle of King Digital's expectations. 

The shares are expected begin trading Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol (KING).

6. -- The Federal Reserve will announce the results of the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review, the second part of the stress tests of the major U.S. banks, at 4 p.m.

The CCAR incorporates banks' plans to deploy excess capital through dividend increases, share buybacks or acquisitions through a "severely adverse" economic scenario.

7. -- Third Point, the hedge fund run by activist investor Daniel Loeb, sued Sotheby's (BID) and its board to fight the auction house's efforts to cap its stake in the company at 10%.

Third Point is Sotheby's largest shareholder with a 9.6%.

Third Point said in its lawsuit that Sotheby's shareholder rights plan, known as a poison pill, unfairly hampers its efforts to advocate for change. 

8. -- Paychex (PAYX), the payroll and human-resources-services company, is expected by analysts on Wednesday to report fiscal third-quarter earnings of 42 cents a share on revenue of $628.9 million.

9. -- Bitcoin and other virtual currencies will be taxed like property, not currency, the Internal Revenue Service said Tuesday.

The IRS said bitcoin isn't legal tender; you can't use it to pay your taxes.

However, if you receive wages in bitcoin, you have to pay taxes on it just like you would if you got paid in dollars. 

Separately, bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, which is in bankruptcy, said Wednesday it is working with authorities looking into the disappearance of roughly 650,000 bitcoins from its vaults and vowed to recover from the damage caused by the scandal, The Wall Street Journal reported.

10.-- Lachlan Murdoch has been named non-executive co-chairman of both News Corp (NWSA) and 21st Century Fox (FOX), after a seven-year absence from the companies run by his father, Rupert Murdoch.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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

To submit a news tip, send an email

Follow @josephwoe58


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

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