March 3 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

Updated from 6:55 a.m. EST

Here are 10 things you should know for Monday, March 3:   

1.-- U.S. stock futures were falling sharply on Monday as tension over Russia's military advance into Ukraine intensified.

European stocks were lower while Asian shares ended Monday's session mostly to the downside. Japan's Nikkei 225 index declined 1.3%.

2.-- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Monday includes personal income and personal spending for January at 8:30 a.m. EST, the ISM Index for February at 10 a.m., and construction spending for January at 10 a.m.

3.-- U.S. stocks closed higher Friday amid a stronger reading for consumer confidence, buoyed by assurances that the Federal Reserve will continue to support markets. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3% to close at 16,321.90, while the S&P 500 gained 0.28% to finish at 1,859.45. The Nasdaq slid 0.25% to 4,308.12. The Dow, S&P and Nasdaq last week gained 1.4%, 1.3% and 1.1%, respectively. 

4.-- Russia intervened over the weekend to take control of Crimea, a Ukrainian peninsula with strategic importance, and the new government in Kiev said it fears a wider invasion. The West responded by questioning Russia's membership in the Group of Eight leading industrialized democracies, and the U.S. threatened possible asset freezes and trade penalties.

5.-- Microsoft (MSFT) has shuffled its executive ranks, the biggest personnel changes since new CEO Satya Nadella took over, The New York Times reported.

Mark Penn, the former aide to the Clinton family, will become the company's chief strategy officer, according to the Times. Penn, who has been an executive vice president at Microsoft overseeing advertising and strategy, will be given a bigger role in determining which markets Microsoft should be in and where it should be making further investments, the newspaper reported, citing a person briefed on the change.

Tami Reller, the company's executive vice president for marketing, who shared leadership of advertising and marketing at Microsoft, will leave the company, as will Tony Bates, Microsoft's executive vice president of business development, the person told the Times.

Microsoft shares fell 1.2% in premarket trading on Monday to $37.85.

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