Feb. 24 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

Updated from 6:46 a.m. EST.

Here are 10 things you should know for Monday, Feb. 24:   

1.-- U.S. stock futures turned higher on Monday despite declines in Asia after a slower increase in Chinese property prices.

European stocks were rising slightly after trading lower earlier following an an unexpectedly positive reading of German business confidence.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index closed 0.2% lower. China's Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.7%.

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

3.-- U.S. stocks on Friday fell as comments from the Federal Reserve suggested the central bank will continue to scale back its economic stimulus program.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.19% to close at 16,103.30 while the S&P 500 dropped 0.19% to 1,836.25. The Nasdaq decreased 0.1% to 4,263.41.

4.-- Ukraine's acting government issued a warrant Monday for the arrest of President Viktor Yanukovych, last reportedly seen in the pro-Russian Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, accusing him of mass crimes against protesters who stood up for months against his rule, The Associated Press reported.

Calls are mounting in Ukraine to put Yanukovych on trial, after a tumultuous presidency in which he amassed powers, enriched his allies and cracked down on protesters. Anger boiled over last week after snipers attacked protesters in the bloodiest violence in Ukraine's post-Soviet history.

"The state treasury has been torn apart, the country has been brought to bankruptcy," Arseniy Yatsenyuk, a leader of the protest movement and prominent lawmaker whose name is being floated as a possibility for prime minister, said in parliament Monday.

The acting finance minister said Monday that the country needs $35 billion (25.5 billion euros) to finance government needs this year and next and expressed hope that Europe or the United States would help.

5.-- Netflix  (NFLX) reached a deal with Comcast  (CMCSA) to ensure that its TV shows and movies are streamed smoothly to households, the first deal the online video streaming service has reached with an Internet service provider.

The two companies said in a joint statement Sunday they're establishing a more direct connection to provide a better service to customers that also will allow for future growth in Netflix traffic. The companies said the arrangement already is giving customers a better experience.

The companies didn't disclose the terms of the deal. In the past, Netflix has resisted paying fees to Internet companies. 

Netflix shares fell 0.5% in premarket trading to $432. Comcast rose 1.5% to $51.80.

6. -- IBM  (IBM) revealed a more than $1 billion cloud platform-as-a-service investment on Monday, opening its middleware to the cloud for the first time and bolstering the connectivity of enterprise applications and data to the cloud.

The investment was disclosed to more than 9,000 clients, partners and developers at IBM's Feb. 23-26 cloud conference in Las Vegas. 

7.-- HSBC (HSBC), Europe's biggest bank by market value, said profit for the year rose 15% to $16.2 billion as it took advantage of rigorous cutting, but analysts were disappointed because the earnings missed expectations.

The stock was falling 3.1% in premarket trading to $52.65.

8.-- General Electric (GE) plans to intensify research focusing on complex energy projects such as waterless fracking and gas turbine efficiency by earmarking an additional $10 billion through 2020 for its "ecoimagination" budget, Reuters reported.

The new spending is set to be announced by CEO Jeff Immelt on Monday, Reuters said.

The stock rose 0.3% in premarket trading to $25.01.

9. -- Vehicle rental giant Hertz (HTZ) is expected by analysts on Monday to report fourth-quarter earnings of 32 cents a share on revenue of $2.62 billion.

10.-- Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Sunday won the Daytona 500 for the second time -- a decade after his first victory -- to snap a 55-race losing streak dating to 2012.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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

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