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April 2 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

Updated from 6:58 a.m. EDT

Here are 10 things you should know for Wednesday, April 2:    

1.-- U.S. stock futures were higher and European stocks posted modest gains Wednesday ahead of a U.S. private-payrolls report.

Asian shares finished the session with gains. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 1% on hopes the Bank of Japan would launch additional monetary stimulus in the coming months.

2.-- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Wednesday includes the ADP Employment Change report for March at 8:15 a.m. EDT, and factory orders for February at 10 a.m.

3.-- U.S. stocks on Tuesday rose after stronger-than-expected manufacturing data suggested the economy is shaking off a slow start to the year amid harsh winter weather.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.41% to close at 16,524.32, while the S&P 500 rose 0.62% to 1,883.89. The Nasdaq jumped 1.5% to finish at 4,260.69.

4. -- Shares of General Motors (GM)fell 8 cents on Tuesday to $34.34 after CEO Mary Barra deflected tough questions from a congressional committee about faulty parts responsible for at least 13 deaths and the recall of 2.6 million cars.

Barra told lawmakers she was awaiting the results of an internal GM investigation. She didn't know why GM waited more than a decade to recall cars it knew had defective ignition switches. She didn't know who was responsible for the decisions that delayed the recall.

Barra goes before Congress again Wednesday to continue her testimony on the recalls and the defective ignition switches.

GM hired Kenneth Feinberg -- who handled the fund for the victims of 9/11, the Boston Marathon bombing and the BP oil spill -- to explore ways to compensate victims of accidents in the GM cars.

The stock was rising 0.5% in premarket trading to $34.52.

5. -- MannKind  (MNKD) won the support of a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel Tuesday for its rapid-acting inhaled insulin Afrezza

By a 13-1 margin, experts on the panel voted to recommend the approval of Afrezza as a new insulin therapy for Type 1 diabetics. The same panel supported Afrezza use in Type 2 diabetics by a 14-0 vote. 

MannKind shares were soaring in premarket trading, up 103% to $8.15.

6. -- Apple (AAPL) is in talks to buy Renesas SP Drivers, a Japanese maker of power-saving smartphone chips, for as much as $1 billion, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.

Renesas SP Drivers is 55% owned by Japan's Renesas Electronics. It's one of the world's biggest makers of chips to control the small and midsize liquid-crystal displays used in such products as smartphones and tablets. Acquiring the company would give Apple exclusive access to Renesas SP's technology, which can reduce a mobile display's energy use-extending battery life-as well as improve image quality, according to the Journal.

Apple shares rose 0.2%.

7. -- Monsanto (MON) is expected by analysts on Wednesday to report fiscal second-quarter earnings of $3.07 a share on revenue of $5.8 billion.

8. -- Amazon (AMZN) is expected to announce Wednesday a device that can compete against products such as Google's (GOOG) Chromecast, Apple TV and Roku, CNBC reported.

The device will allow users get video to their TVs from Amazon's own video library, as well as from services like Netflix and Hulu, according to CNBC.

Amazon rose 0.8% in premarket trading to $345.56.

9. -- Virtu Financial, a high-frequency trading company, delayed a planned initial public offering in the U.S. after its bankers advised it to delay the IPO as this week's publication of "Flash Boys" pushed high-speed trading into the spotlight, The Financial Times reported.

According to people familiar with the matter, Virtu is also still waiting to receive final clearance from U.S. securities regulators on its IPO filing before it can begin investor meetings, which had been expected to start as early as this week. the FT said.

Michael Lewis argues in his book "Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt," that he believes the U.S. stock market is "rigged" in favor of ultra-fast trading firms. 

10.-- BlackBerry (BBRY) is ending its U.S. licensing deal with T-Mobile (TMUS), saying the two companies no longer have complementary strategies.

Its existing licensing agreement with T-Mobile U.S. expires on April 25.

-- 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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