March 13 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

Updated from 7 a.m. EDT

Here are 10 things you should know for Thursday, March 13:   

1.-- U.S. stock futures were rising Thursday but global stocks were mostly flat following lackluster factory production and other data from China.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.1%. The Shanghai Composite rose 1.1%. 

2.-- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Thursday includes weekly initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. EDT, retail sales for February at 8:30 a.m., export and import prices for February at 8:30 a.m., and business inventories for January at 10 a.m. 

3.-- U.S. stocks on Wednesday closed mixed as Chinese growth concerns lingered and the U.S. threatened Russia with sanctions over the situation in Ukraine.

The  S&P 500 rose 0.03% to close at 1,868.19, while the  Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.07% at 16,340.01. The  Nasdaq gained 0.37% to 4,323.33.

4.-- The Federal Trade Commission opened an investigation of multi-level supplements seller Herbalife (HLF). The move comes more than a year after hedge fund manager Bill Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management took a $1 billion short position in Herbalife's shares and accused the company of being a pyramid scheme.

Herbalife disclosed the probe on Wednesday afternoon and said it "welcomes the inquiry" and will cooperate fully with the FTC. 

"Herbalife welcomes the inquiry given the tremendous amount of misinformation in the marketplace, and will cooperate fully with the FTC. We are confident that Herbalife is in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations," the company said.

Herbalife shares fell 7.4% on Wednesday to $60.57 but were rising by 0.7% in premarket trading on Thursday.

5. -- GM (GM) said Wednesday that problems with ignition switches surfaced as early as 2001.

Last month, GM announced the recall of more than 780,000 Cobalts and Pontiac G5s (model years 2005-2007). Two weeks later it added 842,000 Ion compacts (2003-2007), and Chevrolet HHR SUVs and Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky sports cars (2006-2007). All of the recalled cars have the same ignition switches.

The automaker said it now counts 12 people as having died in crashes linked to the problem. 

The stock rose 0.4% in premarket trading.

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