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May 16 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

Updated from 6:56 a.m. EDT

Here are 10 things you should know for Friday, May 16:

1. 
-- U.S. stock futures suggested a weaker start for equities on Friday after Wall Street suffered heavy losses in the previous session.

European stocks were flat while Asian shares ended mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 1.4%.

Indian stocks jumped Friday as preliminary results from national elections indicated the pro-business opposition and its leader Narendra Modi had won a landslide victory.

2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Friday includes housing starts and building permits for April at 8:30 a.m. EDT, and the University of Michigan Sentiment Index for May at 9:55 a.m.

3. -- U.S. stocks on Thursday fell amid mixed economic data, while retail stocks dropped on disappointing earnings. Small caps, as measured by the Russell 2000, declined more than 1.6%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 1.01% to 16,446.81 while the S&P 500 fell 0.94% to 1,870.85. The Nasdaq fell 0.76% to 4,069.29.

4. -- Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway  (BRK.A) disclosed on Thursday it had taken a stake of 11 million shares in Verizon (VZ) worth more than $500 million. The conglomerate added marginally to its investment in IBM  amid the IT services giant's struggles.

Berkshire Hathaway also said in a 13-F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it purchased 7.35 million Liberty Global Class C  (LBTYK) shares in the first quarter.

IBM was the only stock of Berkshire's so-called big four stock investments that was added to in the quarter. The other stocks are Wells Fargo (WFC), Coca-Cola  (KO) and American Express (AXP). Berkshire's buying was limited to just 233,100 new shares of IBM, less than 1% of the company's overall investment in IBM.

IBM shares were down 0.3% in premarket trading to $185.87.

5. -- Struggling retailer J.C. Penney (JCP - Get Report) reported first-quarter earnings above Wall Street's expectations, and same-store sales surged past forecasts.

J.C. Penney's comparable-store sales in the first quarter were 6.2%, above consensus expectations of 4% growth.

J.C. Penney reported a loss of $352 million, or $1.15 a share, in the first quarter, narrower than the year-earlier loss of $348 million, or $1.58 a share. Net sales rose 6.3% to $2.8.

Analysts expected a loss of $1.25 a share. Revenue growth was expected to rise 3% to $2.707 billion.

The stock rose 20.9% in premarket trading to $10.12.

6. -- The Federal Communications Commission took first step toward adopting new regulations that could create fast lanes for Internet traffic from Web sites that can afford to pay for the privilege.

The recommendation, passed by a 3-2 vote on Thursday, moves the proposed rules governing "net neutrality" into a formal public comment period.

After the 120-day period ends, the FCC will revise the proposal and vote on a final set of rules. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has said he wants the rules in place by the end of this year.

7. -- Deutsche Bank (DB) is selling the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas resort and casino, the swanky but unprofitable high-rise complex on the Strip to Blackstone Real Estate Partners VII for $1.73 billion.

8. -- Pinterest, the scrapbooking site, said Thursday it raised a $200 million investment that values it at $5 billion. The investment makes Pinterest one of the most valuable venture-capital backed startups in the world, according to The Wall Street Journal.

9. -- Chipotle (CMG) investors on Thursday gave a thumbs down to the company's executive compensation practices

Chipotle's executive pay plan, a so-called say-on-pay proposal, received support from just 23% of shareholders, meaning that 77% of shareholders voted against the proposal.

The vote is advisory and non-binding but could persuade the Mexican food chain to rethink compensation.

Last year, co-CEOs Steve Ellis and Montgomery Moran were paid $25.1 million and $24.4 million, respectively.

Chipotle shares fell 0.4% to $494.

10. -- Credit Suisse (CS) is close to reaching an agreement to plead guilty and pay about $2.5 billion to the U.S. Justice Department and regulators to resolve investigations into whether it helped Americans evade taxes, three people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

Shares of the Swiss bank fell 1.1% to $28.80.

-- 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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