Feb. 21 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

Here are 10 things you should know for Friday, Feb. 21:   

1.-- U.S. stock futures were pointing to a higher open for Wall Street on Friday ahead of housing market data.

Asian shares ended the session mostly to the upside. Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 2.9% as the central bank signaled its monetary stimulus measures could continue for longer than markets are anticipating.

European stocks were posting slight gains.

2.-- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Friday includes existing-home sales for January at 10 a.m. EST.

3.-- U.S. stocks on Thursday rose as U.S. manufacturing data improved in February.

The  Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.58% to 16,133.23, while the  S&P 500 rose 0.6% to finish at 1,839.78. The  Nasdaq gained 0.7% to 4,267.54.

4.-- Standard & Poor's said Ukraine will likely default on its debt if there are no significant improvements in the political crisis, which it doesn't expect.

The agency cited the increasing violence between protesters and police as it downgraded the country's rating by a notch to CCC.

Ukraine's government and the opposition are locked in a battle over the country's future. Several regions in the west are in open revolt, while many in eastern Ukraine back the president and favor strong ties with Russia, their former Soviet ruler.

5.-- PC maker Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) reported first-quarter earnings and revenue that topped Wall Street estimates. HP also narrowed its full-year guidance.

The PC maker, which is in the throes of a massive corporate overhaul, reported sales of $28.2 billion, down slightly from $28.4 billion in the same period last year. Analysts swere looking for sales of $27.191 billion.

If you liked this article you might like

Hewlett Packard Enterprise's Meg Whitman Joins Dropbox

Carly Fiorina Will Not Run for Senate in 2018

Carly Fiorina on Not Running for Senate, Cryptocurrency and the Opioid Epidemic

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Jumps After-Hours on Q3 Earnings Beat

HPE's Meg Whitman Will Have to Answer Some Tough Questions on Tuesday