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April 1 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

Stocks in this article: GM F FB AAPL YHOO APOL

Updated from 6:58 a.m. EDT

Here are 10 things you should know for Tuesday, April 1:    

1.-- U.S. stock futures rose while global stocks were mostly higher after Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said the U.S. economy still needs "extraordinary" support for "some time to come."

European stocks rose in early trading. Japan's Nikkei 225 index, however, closed down 0.2%.

2.-- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Tuesday includes the ISM Index for March at 10 a.m. EDT, and construction spending for February at 10 a.m.

3.-- U.S. stocks on Monday rose following dovish comments from Yellen. The Fed chairwoman described the U.S. economy and labor market as far from healthy, suggesting the Fed's low interest rate policy will persist for some time. She told a conference the U.S. economy was "still considerably short" of the two goals assigned to the central bank: supporting low, stable inflation and maximum sustainable employment. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.82% to close at 16,457.66, while the S&P 500 rose 0.79% to 1,872.34. The Nasdaq closed up 1.04% to 4,198.99. Monday marked the end of the first quarter, and despite early struggles the S&P 500 rebounded in March to post a quarterly gain of 1.3%. During the quarter, the Nasdaq added 0.54%, but the Dow lost 0.72%. 

 -- Automakers, including General Motors (GM) and Ford (F) are expected to issue sales results for March throughout Tuesday. GM CEO Mary Barra and federal regulators will be pressed by Congress in hearings beginning Tuesday over their handling of a safety defect in the Chevrolet Cobalt and other small cars.  (GM)

GM said Monday it is recalling 1.5 million vehicles worldwide because the electronic power-steering assist can suddenly stop working, making them harder to steer.

The new recall brings to 6.3 million the number of vehicles GM has recalled since February.

GM shares fell 0.5% in premarket trading; Ford shares rose 0.4%.

5. -- Facebook (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg reaped a $3.3 billion gain last year by exercising stock options in the social networking company.

The windfall saddled Zuckerberg with a huge tax bill, even though he limited his Facebook salary to just $1, according to regulatory documents filed Monday.

It marks the second straight year that Zuckerberg has realized a huge gain on the holding that he has accumulated in Facebook since he started the company in 2004. In 2012, Zuckerberg made $2.3 billion off his stock options.

Facebook rose 0.4% in premarket trading to $60.50.

6. -- The FBI is investigating whether high-speed trading firms are engaging in insider trading by taking advantage of fast-moving market information unavailable to other investors, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The investigation, launched about a year ago, involves a range of trading activities and is still in its early stages, according to a senior FBI official and an agency spokesman, the Journal reported. Among the activities being probed is whether high-speed firms are trading ahead of other investors based on information that other market participants can't see.

7. -- Suppliers for Apple (AAPL) will begin mass producing displays as early as May for the next iPhone, expected to be launched this autumn, with a 4.7-inch screen likely to be produced first while a 5.5-inch version could be delayed, supply chain sources told Reuters.

Japan Display, Sharp and LG Display all have been tapped to make the screens, the sources told Reuters.

Apple rose 0.2% in premarket trading to $537.88.

8. -- Yahoo! (YHOO) is in preliminary talks to acquire online-video service News Distribution Network, the Journal reported, in a deal that would help CEO Marissa Mayer compete with Google's (GOOG) YouTube for viewers and ad dollars.

Yahoo! could pay roughly $300 million for NDN, according to two people who have been briefed on the matter, the Journal reported. The discussions are still early and a deal may not be reached for several weeks or may fall apart, one of the people said.

The stock rose 0.6% to $36.10 in premarket trading.

9. -- Apollo Education Group (APOL) is expected by analysts on Tuesday to report fiscal second-quarter earnings of 19 cents a share

10.-- Sign-ups for the Affordable Care Act, which is generally referred to as ObamaCare, were "on track" to hit 7 million, The Associated Press said, citing two sources.

Administration officials wouldn't confirm the number but said that signs were pointing in that direction as of Monday night, the registration deadline.

-- 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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