Feb. 18 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

Updated from 6:45 a.m. EST.

Here are 10 things you should know for Tuesday, Feb. 18:   

1.-- U.S. stock futures were flat on Tuesday ahead of data on manufacturing and housing.

European stocks fell on Tuesday and Asian indices finished mixed as China's central bank mopped up liquidity from the market and a German index of investor confidence fell sharply.

2.-- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Tuesday includes the Empire State Manufacturing Index for February at 8:30 a.m. EST, and the NAHB Housing Market Index for February at 10 a.m.

3.-- U.S. stocks on Friday booked their second-straight week of gains on Friday after consumer sentiment beat expectations.

The S&P 500 rose Friday by 0.48% to close at 1,838.63, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.79% to 16,154.39. The Nasdaq gained 0.08% to 4,244.02. The S&P, Dow and Nasdaq gained 2.3%, 2.3% and 2.9%, respectively, for the week.

Markets in the U.S. were closed Monday for President's Day.

4.-- Actavis agreed to acquire rival drug maker Forest Laboratories  (FRX) in a cash-and-stock worth about $25 billion.

The deal would create a combined company spanning both generic and branded drugs, including Forest's Alzheimer's treatment Namenda and the antidepressant Lexapro.

Dublin-based Actavis will pay Forest shareholders $26.04 in cash and a portion of an Actavis share for each Forest share. The price of $89.48 is a premium of about 25% over Forest's closing price on Friday.

Forest shares were surging in premarket trading, up 34.8% to $96.26. 

5.-- Beverage giant Coca-Cola (KO) reported fourth-quarter earnings of $1.71 billion, or 38 cents a share, down from $1.87 billion, or 41 cents, a year earlier. 

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