April 3 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

Updated from 7:07 a.m. EDT

Here are 10 things you should know for Thursday, April 3:    

1.-- U.S. stock futures were rising and global stock markets were mostly higher Thursday after China's State Council, or cabinet, pledged to do more to support the economy.

European stocks were lower ahead of a rates meeting at the European Central Bank.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.8%, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose 0.2% but China's Shanghai's Composite Index fell 0.7%.

2.-- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Thursday includes weekly initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. EDT, the trade balance for February at 8:30 a.m., and the ISM Services Index for March at 10 a.m.

3.-- U.S. stocks on Wednesday closed higher Wednesday and the S&P 500 extended its record closing high after a rise in factory orders and growing private sector job creation boosted investor confidence.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.24% to finish at 16,573, while the S&P 500 gained 0.29% to 1,890.90. The Nasdaq added 0.2% to 4,276.46.

4. -- Lawmakers on Capitol Hill accused General Motors (GM) of a potentially criminal cover-up of its defective ignition switches and fumed at the lack of answers from new CEO Mary Barra during a second day of hearings Wednesday into why the automaker waited a decade to recall cars with the deadly flaw.

Members of a Senate subcommittee also said GM should tell owners of the 2.6 million cars being recalled to stop driving them until they are repaired.

GM has linked the switch to 13 deaths and dozens of accidents.

GM shares rose 0.3% in premarket trading to $34.99.

5. -- Tesla (TSLA), the electric carmaker, plans to go to court to appeal New Jersey's ruling that would stop it from selling its vehicles in the state within two weeks.

Tesla filed a notice to the state appellate division which seeks to overturn regulations imposed by the state Motor Vehicle Commission that require new-car dealers to have franchise agreements before they can be licensed.

Tesla shares rose 0.3% to $231.08 in premarket trading on Thursday.

6. -- Federal authorities have opened a criminal investigation into a recent $400 million fraud involving Citigroup's (C) Mexican unit, according to people briefed on the matter, The New York Times reported.

The investigation, overseen by the FBI and prosecutors from the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan, is focusing in part on whether holes in the bank's internal controls contributed to the fraud in Mexico. The question for investigators is whether Citigroup ignored warning signs, the Times reported.

Citigroup shares fell 0.6% $47.96.

7. -- Chipmaker Micron Technology (MU) is forecast by Wall Street on Thursday to report fiscal second-quarter earnings of 76 cents a share on revenue of $3.99 billion.

8. -- Blythe Masters, commodities chief of JPMorgan (JPM) and one of the highest-ranking women on Wall Street, announced her resignation Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Masters, 45 years old, spent 27 years at the New York lender, but her future there became less certain after JPMorgan last month announced the $3.5 billion sale of its physical-commodities business to Mercuria Energy Group of Switzerland, the Journal noted.

9. -- Credit Suisse (CS) increased the funds it has set aside to settle a U.S. tax dispute and avoid prosecution for helping wealthy Americans to hide cash from the I.R.S, raising the prospect it may be close to a settlement in the lengthy dispute, Reuters reported.

10.-- Apparel maker Perry Ellis (PERY) posted a fourth-quarter loss of $28.2 million, or $1.91 a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $4.4 million, or 28 cents a share.

The latest quarter included a number of write-downs. Excluding those, earnings in the quarter were 6 cents a share; analysts were expecting 3 cents.

Shares rose 0.1% in premarket trading to $14.27.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

To contact the writer of this article, click here:Joseph Woelfel

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