Morning Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Here are 10 things you should know for Friday, March 22:

1. -- U.S. stock futures were slightly higher Friday as Cyprus struggled to avoid financial collapse after Russia, which has billions of dollars of deposits in Cypriot banks, brushed off the island-country's pleas for financial aid.

European stocks were trading lower, while Asian stocks finished in the red on Friday. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 plummeted 2.4% to close at 12,338.53


2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. Friday is bare.


3. -- U.S. stocks on Thursday stumbled on lackluster economic data from the eurozone and softer-than-expected results from the latest U.S. economic indicators.

The S&P 500 declined 0.83% to 1,545.80. The Nasdaq slumped 0.97% to 3,222.60 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.62% to 14,421.49.


4. -- Nike ( NKE), the shoe and apparel maker, said Thursday that third-quarter earnings jumped, topping the expectations of Wall Street analysts.

Earnings for the quarter were $662 million, or 73 cents a share, up from year-earlier profit of $569 million, or 61 cents a share. Analysts were looking for earnings of 67 cents a share.

Revenue rose 9% to $6.19 billion; analysts forecast sales of $6.2 billion.

Nike said revenue in North America, which accounts for 40% of its sales, rose 18% to $2.55 billion.


5. -- Tiffany ( TIF), the upscale jewelry retailer, posted fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of $179.6 million, or $1.40 a share, up slightly from earnings of $178.4 million, or $1.39 a share, a year earlier.

Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.36 a share.

Sales rose to $1.24 billion from $1.19 billion a year earlier; analysts forecast sales of $1.25 billion.

Tiffany said Friday it expects that net sales in the current fiscal year will increase 6% to 8%.


6. -- Friday marks the end of a 45-day period that Dell's ( DELL) board set to allow for offers that might top a deal reached in February to sell the PC maker to CEO Michael Dell and a group of investors for $24.4 billion.

Blackstone Group ( BX) is emerging as the most likely candidate to trump the current bid of $13.65 a share, The Associated Press reported Friday.


7. -- BP ( BP), the U.K. energy giant, said Friday it would repurchase $8 billion of its shares, distributing to shareholders some of the proceeds from the sale of its stake in its Russian unit, TNK-BP, to OAO Rosneft.


8. -- Micron Technology ( MU) posted a loss in its fiscal second quarter of $286 million, or 28 cents a share, as revenue rose 3% to $2.08 billion.

Analysts were looking for a quarterly loss of 20 cents a share on revenue of $1.92 billion.


9. -- Acura, the luxury brand of Honda ( HMC), is voluntarily recalling 76,000 model-year 2004-2008 TSX sedans in 22 states and Washington, D.C.

The recall, for cars in mostly cold-weather states, is being made because corrosion could cause the cars to stall.


10. -- Harvard, the No. 14 seed in the West region, beat No. 3 New Mexico on Thursday, 68-62, in the first big upset of the NCAA tournament.


-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Joseph Woelfel

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