March 31 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

Updated from 7:01 a.m. EDT

Here are 10 things you should know for Monday, March 31:    

1.-- U.S. stock futures were rising Monday on continued whispers of stimulus from China and Japan.

European stocks rose in early trading. Asian stocks ended Monday's session mostly higher. Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 0.9%.

2.-- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Monday includes Chicago PMI for March at 9:45 a.m. EDT.

3.-- U.S. stocks on Friday finished higher as an increase in U.S. consumer spending data offset a fall in consumer confidence. 

The  Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.36% to close at 16,323.06 while the  S&P 500 rose 0.46% to 1,857.62. The  Nasdaq gained 0.11% to 4,155.76.

4. --  General Motors ( GM) CEO Mary Barra and federal regulators will be pressed by Congress in hearings Tuesday and Wednesday over their handling of a safety defect in the Chevrolet Cobalt and other small cars.

The automaker has recalled 2.6 million cars for a faulty ignition switch, which it links to 13 deaths.

Reuters reported that GM approved the ignition switches, even though the parts did not appear to meet the company's specifications, officials of Delphi Automotive told U.S. congressional investigators.

GM shares fell 1.3% in premarket trading to $34.29.

5. -- Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in another round of litigation between tech giants Apple (AAPL) and Samsung

Apple, this time, has accused Samsung of infringing on five patents on newer devices, including Galaxy smartphones and tablets. In a counterclaim, Samsung said Apple stole two of its ideas to use on iPhones and iPads.

The latest case will be tried less than two years after a federal jury found Samsug was infringing on Apple patents. Samsung was ordered to pay about $900 million but is appealing and has been allowed to continue selling products using the technology.

Apple shares rose 0.6% in premarket trading to $539.98.

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