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March 28 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

Updated from 6:39 a.m. EDT

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

1.-- U.S. stock futures were rising ahead of consumer spending data and a reading on consumer confidence.

European stocks were higher. Asian shares finished Friday's session mostly in the green. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index rose 0.5%.

2.-- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Friday includes personal income and personal spending for February at 8:30 a.m. EDT, and the final University of Michigan Sentiment Index for March at 9:55 a.m.

3.-- U.S. stocks on Thursday fell after a disappointing GDP result, though initial weekly jobless claims continued to fall.  The  S&P 500 slipped 0.19% to close at 1,849.04, while the  Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.03% to 16,264.36. The  Nasdaq declined 0.54% to 4,151.23.

4. --  Walmart  (WMT - Get Report) sued  Visa  (V) over fees that it charges the world's largest retailer when customers use a credit or debit card.

Walmart said Visa conspired with banks to illegally fix and inflate fees that retailers pay on card transactions, and that the fees cost U.S. retailers and shoppers more than $350 billion between 2004 and November 2012.

Visa shares fell 1.2% in premarket trading to $213.19.

5. -- Facebook's (FB) effort connect remote parts of the world to the Internet involves drones, lasers and satellites.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday that Facebook is hiring "key members of the team" from Ascenta, a U.K. company whose founders created early versions of the world's longest-flying solar powered drone.

Zuckerberg also unveiled Connectivity Lab, whose goal is to bolster Internet.org, the Facebook-led project that aims to connect the more than 70% of the world's 7 billion people who are not yet online.

Zuckerberg said the plan has shown an early return on investment, helping get 3 million new people connected to the Internet in the Philippines and Paraguay alone.

Facebook rose 0.9% to $61.54 in premarket trading on Friday.

6. -- BlackBerry posted a fourth-quarter loss of $423 million, or 80 cents a share, on revenue of $976 million, down from $2.7 billion a year earlier. The adjusted loss in the quarter was 8 cents a share.

Analysts expected a loss of 55 cents a share on revenue of $1.11 billion.

BlackBerry shares rose 7.5% to $9.73.

7. -- Amazon (AMZN) said it has no plans to offer a free streaming media service, addressing speculation ahead of a media event in New York next Wednesday.

Spokeswoman Sally Fouts told The Associated Press that Amazon runs ads ahead of movie and game trailers, but the company has no plans to offer a free streaming media service.

The Wall Street Journal reported Amazon is considering an ad-supported streaming TV and music video service. The story followed an email Amazon sent reporters inviting them to hear about an update to its video business.

Amazon shares rose 1% in premarket trading.

8. -- The initial public offering for CBS Outdoor Americas, a division of CBS, was priced at $28, at the high end of the range of $26 to $28.

The IPO raised $560 million.

CBS Outdoor Americas plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under symbol (CBSO).

9. -- Software maker Red Hat (RHT) posted fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and revenue on Thursday that topped analysts' estimates.

Red Hat earned 39 cents in the fourth quarter, beating analysts' estimates of 37 cents. Revenue rose 15% from a year earlier to $400 million. Analysts expected revenue of $399.92 million.

Red Hat fell 1.1% to $55.50. 

10.-- Turkish authorities pressed Thursday to block access to YouTube following similar action against Twitter.

Turkey's technology minister, Fikri Isik, said the national telecommunications authority was imposing the block "as a precaution" after an audio recording of a government security meeting was leaked on the video-sharing Web site.

Despite the government's actions, YouTube was still widely accessible following the announcement, The Associated Press reported.

 

-- 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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