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March 31 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

Updated from 7:01 a.m. EDT

Here are 10 things you should know for Monday, March 31:    

1.-- U.S. stock futures were rising Monday on continued whispers of stimulus from China and Japan.

European stocks rose in early trading. Asian stocks ended Monday's session mostly higher. Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 0.9%.

2.-- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Monday includes Chicago PMI for March at 9:45 a.m. EDT.

3.-- U.S. stocks on Friday finished higher as an increase in U.S. consumer spending data offset a fall in consumer confidence.  The  Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.36% to close at 16,323.06 while the  S&P 500 rose 0.46% to 1,857.62. The  Nasdaq gained 0.11% to 4,155.76.

4. --  General Motors (GM) CEO Mary Barra and federal regulators will be pressed by Congress in hearings Tuesday and Wednesday over their handling of a safety defect in the Chevrolet Cobalt and other small cars.

The automaker has recalled 2.6 million cars for a faulty ignition switch, which it links to 13 deaths.

Reuters reported that GM approved the ignition switches, even though the parts did not appear to meet the company's specifications, officials of Delphi Automotive told U.S. congressional investigators.

GM shares fell 1.3% in premarket trading to $34.29.

5. -- Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in another round of litigation between tech giants Apple (AAPL - Get Report) and Samsung

Apple, this time, has accused Samsung of infringing on five patents on newer devices, including Galaxy smartphones and tablets. In a counterclaim, Samsung said Apple stole two of its ideas to use on iPhones and iPads.

The latest case will be tried less than two years after a federal jury found Samsug was infringing on Apple patents. Samsung was ordered to pay about $900 million but is appealing and has been allowed to continue selling products using the technology.

Apple shares rose 0.6% in premarket trading to $539.98.

6. -- Tesla (TSLA - Get Report) reached a deal with New York that would allow the electric carmaker to keep its five retail locations in the state.

Tesla, however, would have to abide by a "strengthened dealer franchise law" if it wished to open any new dealerships, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The stock was trading at $214.03 in premarket trading, up 0.8%.

7.
 -- Yahoo! (YHOO) has been working on a plan to lure some of YouTube's most popular stars and networks to show their stuff on its site, Re/code reported, citing several sources close to the situation.

Yahoo! hopes to launch the YouTube-like site in the next few months. The site is aimed at taking advantage of persistent complaints by both video creators and owners, who think that they don't make enough money on YouTube, according to Re/code.

8. -- Facebook (FB) shares fell 1.6% on Friday and almost 11% last week as investors didn't take kindly to news the social media giant planned to spend $2 billion to purchase virtual reality startup Oculus

In premarket on Monday, Facebook shares gained 0.7% to $60.45

9. -- Japan's Mitsubishi Motors said Monday it bought a former Ford (F) auto plant in the Philippines as it looks to grow in a market where car ownership is on the rise.

Ford closed the plant in 2012. 

10.-- The deadline to sign up for the Affordable Care Act, which is generally referred to as ObamaCare, is Monday. The White House said 6 million people had signed up for health care; it's goal was having 7 million people registered by the deadline Monday evening.

-- 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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