Feb. 26 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

Updated from 7:05 a.m. EST

Here are 10 things you should know for Wednesday, Feb. 26:   

1.-- U.S. stock futures were pointing higher Wednesday ahead of new-home sales data and earnings from a number of retailers.

European stocks were moving lower in trading on Wednesday. Asian stocks ended the session mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.5%.

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

3.-- U.S. stocks on Tuesday closed lower as consumer confidence ultimately weighed on a choppy trading session in New York.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed off 0.17% to 16,179.66, while the S&P 500 lost 0.13% to finish at 1,845.12. The Nasdaq dropped 0.13 to 4,287.59.

4.-- Japanese authorities have begun looking into the regulation of bitcoin, a day after Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox shut its Web site and halted trading, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Japan's top government spokesman, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, said Wednesday the government was looking into the matter, collecting information through the Financial Services Agency, the Ministry of Finance and the police. "The government will take measures if necessary once we have an assessment of the situation," he said.

The Journal also reported that federal prosecutors in Manhattan subpoenaed Mt. Gox this month, asking it to preserve certain documents, among other things. The newspaper cited a person familiar with the matter.

5.-- Bank of America  (BAC) is facing new probes into its mortgage practices as well as its foreign exchange business.

The bank said in a regulatory filing late Tuesday that it was cooperating with government authorities in North America, Europe and Asia. The authorities are investigating a "significant" number of participants in the foreign exchange markets for their conduct over a number of years.

Bank of America also said the U.S. Attorney's office for the Eastern District of New York is conducting an investigation concerning its compliance with the requirements of the Federal Housing Administration's Direct Endorsement Program and the quality of mortgages it passed along to the government-backed mortgage agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

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