March 7 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

Updated from 6:56 a.m. EST

Here are 10 things you should know for Friday, March 7:   

1.-- U.S. stock futures were flat and European and Asian shares were muted on Friday ahead of U.S. jobs data.

European stocks were lower. Asian shares ended the session mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average gained 0.9%

2.-- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Friday includes the nonfarm payrolls report for February at 8:30 a.m. EST, the trade balance for January at 8:30 a.m. and consumer credit for January at 3 p.m.

3.-- U.S. stocks on Thursday finished mixed but the S&P 500 settled at another record high amid fewer jobless claims.

The S&P 500 rose 0.17% to close at 1,877.03 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.38% to 16,421.89. The Nasdaq fell slightly to 4,352.13.

4.-- Russia's parliament on Friday supported Crimean lawmakers who want to see their region split from Ukraine and join Russia, CNN reported. Russia said no sanctions imposed by the United States or Europe will change its mind.

President Obama urged Russian President Vladimir Putin in a one-hour phone call on Thursday to pursue a diplomatic solution to the military incursion into Crimea, including direct talks between Russia and Ukraine with outside observers, USA Today reported.

5.-- Safeway  (SWY) said Thursday it has agreed to be acquired by privately held supermarket chain Albertsons for $40 a share, in a major consolidation of the supermarket industry. The deal also means private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management is pushing headlong into the supermarket industry after buying Albertsons from Supervalu in early 2013.

Cerberus-backed Albertsons will offer Safeway shareholders $32.50 a share in cash, in addition to a contingent consideration worth an estimated $3.65 a share and a distribution of stock in Blackhawk Network Holdings (HAWK) worth $3.95 a share. The latter distribution was announced in February as part of Safeway's 2014 outlook.

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