March 20 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

Updated from 6:57 a.m. EDT

Here are 10 things you should know for Thursday, March 20:    

1.-- U.S. stock futures were falling Thursday after Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen hinted that U.S. interest rates could rise sooner than financial markets were expecting.

European stocks declined while Asian shares finished Thursday's session with losses. Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.7%.

2.-- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Thursday includes weekly initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. EDT, existing home sales for February at 10 a.m., the Philadelphia Fed Index for March at 10 a.m., and leading indicators for February at 10 a.m.

3.-- U.S. stocks on Wednesday closed lower but bounced off session lows Wednesday after Yellen explained the central bank's revised forward guidance, including a plan to drop the unemployment threshold.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.7% to finish at 16,222.17, the S&P 500 fell 0.61% to 1,860.77 and the Nasdaq dropped 0.59% to 4,307.6.

4.-- The Fed on Thursday will publish the results of its annual health check of big banks, including Citigroup  (C), JPMorgan  (JPM) and Morgan Stanley  (MS).

If the Fed finds that any of the 30 banks subject to the so-called stress tests are still at risk, the banks will then have a few days to change any plans they may have made to return capital to shareholders through dividends or buybacks, according to Reuters.

5. -- Homebuilder Lennar (LEN) posted first-quarter earnings on Thursday that beat expectations.

Profit in the fiscal first quarter rose to $78.1 million, or 35 cents a share, from $57.5 million, or 26 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 38% to $1.4 billion.

The company said home deliveries in the quarter were 3,609, up 13% from a year earlier. 

Lennar shares rose 2.6% in premarket trading on Thursday to $42.40.

If you liked this article you might like

With the Fed, It's Different This Time

These Stocks Are Ready to Reverse Course

Barclays Turns Cautious on U.S. Home Building

I'm Still Sold on Homebuilders