Feb. 14 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

Here are 10 things you should know for Friday Feb. 14:  

1.-- U.S. stock futures were pointing to a flat open for Wall Street on Friday and most indices in Europe rose as the eurozone currency bloc saw its economy grow 0.3% in the fourth quarter.

Asian shares ended the session mixed. Stocks in China rose while Japan's Nikkei 225 index declined 1.5% 

2.-- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Friday includes export and import prices for January at 8:30 a.m. EST, industrial production and capacity utilization for January at 9:15 a.m., and the University Michigan Consumer Sentiment index for February at 9:55 a.m.

3.-- U.S. stocks on Thursday closed higher as investors accounted for bad weather in a worse-than-expected jobless claims number and downwardly revised retail sales data.

The  S&P 500 reversed early losses to close up 0.58% at 1,829.83, while the  Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.4% to finish at 16,027.59. The  Nasdaq gained 0.94% to 4,240.67.

4.-- Charter Communications (CHTR), which lost its takeover battle for Time Warner Cable (TWC) when cable giant Comcast (CMCSA) swooped in, is likely to look at other suitors, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the company's thinking.

Charter is unlikely to counterbid for Time Warner Cable, people familiar with the matter told the Journal, given the price gap between Comcast's bid, which at Wednesday's closing price valued Time Warner shares at $158.82 vs. a $132.50-per-share bid that Charter had been contemplating.

One possible target is Cox Communications, the nation's third-largest cable operator, according to the Journal. Charter eyes Cox last year, a person familiar with the matter told the newspaper.

5.-- Jos. A Bank (JOSB) said Friday it agreed to buy retailer Eddie Bauer for $825 million.

Jos. A Bank made the deal with Everest Topco to buy Everest Holdings, Eddie Bauer's parent company. The deal includes $564 million in cash and about 4.7 million new shares of Jos. A. Bank stock issued to Everest Topco at $56 a share.

6.-- Campbell Soup (CPB) is expected by analysts on Friday to report fiscal second-quarter earnings of 73 cents a share on sales of $2.27 billion.

7.-- Insurance giant American International Group (AIG) swung to a profit of $1.98 billion in the fourth quarter, raised its dividend 25% to 12.5 cents a share, and said it would cut 3% of its work force to better focus its business.

On an operating basis, earnings in the quarter were $1.15 a share; analysts expected 96 cents.

8.-- The maker of jams and jellies, J.M. Smucker (SJM) is forecast to report third-quarter profit of $1.68 a share.

9.--  Murphy Oil (MUR is considering selling some of its Asian oil and gas assets in a deal that could fetch up to $3 billion, sources told Reuters, as the company looks to scale down in the region like some other U.S. energy companies.

10.-- Japanese online retailer Rakuten is buying Cyprus-based Viber Media, which operates a popular Internet phone application, for $900 million, fortifying its social networking footprint.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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