Aug. 22 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Here are 10 things you should know for Friday, Aug. 22:

1. -- U.S. stock futures slipped Friday as markets awaited comments on the labor market and the economy from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. Investors will be listening for clues as to when the central bank might begin raising interest rates.

Yellen's speech at Jackson Hole, Wyo., begins at 10 a.m. EDT.

European stocks traded lower. Asian shares finished the session with gains.

2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Friday is bare.

3. -- U.S. stocks on Thursday settled higher, with the S&P 500 sitting at a new record as investors anticipated Yellen's speech at the annual gathering of central bankers.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.36% to close at 17,039.49. The S&P 500 advanced 0.29% to 1,992.37. The Nasdaq gained 0.12% to 4,532.10.

Carl Icahn is buying stock Hertz stock and looking to make changes at the car rental company:


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4. -- eBay (EBAY)  could spin off its payment unit, PayPal, as soon as next year, according to tech Web site The Information.

eBay has been telling potential recruits for the position of PayPal CEO that it's considering spinning off the payments business as soon as next year, two people briefed on the conversations told The Information. The search for a new head of the unit began in June after former PayPal CEO David Marcus said he was leaving for Facebook (FB) .

5. -- Suppliers to Apple  (AAPL)  have been scrambling to get enough screens ready for the new iPhone 6 smartphone as the need to redesign a key component disrupted panel production ahead of next month's expected launch, supply chain sources told Reuters.

It's unclear whether the supply problem ould delay the launch or limit the number of phones initially available to consumers, the sources told Reuters.

Apple reportedly has been planning larger-screen iPhones for the year-end shopping season.

6. -- Home Depot (HD) named Craig Menear, currently president, U.S. retail, as CEO and president, effective Nov. 1

Current chairman and CEO, Frank Blake, will remain chairman.

Menear has worked for Home Depot since 1997, and the company said he helped revamp its merchandising operations, strategy, and supply chain as well as bolstering sales growth for the company's Web site.

7. -- Federal prosecutors are scrutinizing whether employees inside and outside the legal department at General Motors  (GM) concealed evidence from regulators about a faulty ignition switch, potentially delaying a recall of vehicles with the fatal problem, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The investigation is at an early stage, one of the people said, and it's possible that the probe could end without any charges being brought.

The scrutiny of GM's legal department follows the release of an internal GM report in June that faulted the company's lawyers for failing to alert other managers to lawsuits against the automaker that could have helped resolve a pattern of accidents in which air bags failed to deploy, according to the Journal.

8. -- Gap (GPS)  said second-quarter profit rose 10% as the clothing retailer cut expenses and sales increased.

Adjusted earnings in the quarter were 70 cents a share, a penny ahead of Wall Street expectations. Revenue rose 3% from a year earlier to $3.98 billion, matching forecasts. Sales at established stores around the world were flat in the second quarter.

Gap raised its full-year guidance, saying it now expects earnings of $2.95 to $3 a share.

The company also said it plans to open Gap stores in India next year. 

9. -- Microsoft (MSFT) plans to unveil its successor to Windows next month at a special press event, The Verge reported.

Sources familiar with Microsoft's plans tell The Verge that the software maker is tentatively planning its press event for Sept. 30, to detail upcoming changes to Windows as part of a release codenamed "Threshold."

Thes date could change, but the Threshold version of Windows is currently in development and Microsoft plans to release a preview version of what will likely be named Windows 9 to developers on Sept.  30th or shortly afterward, The Verge reported.

10. -- Aeropostale (ARO) reported on Thursday a second-quarter loss of $63.8 million, or 81 cents a share, and forecast a wider-than-expected third-quarter loss.

The adjusted loss in the quarter was 46 cents share.

The retailer said it expects a third-quarter loss of 44 cents to 48 cents a share; analysts expected a loss of 33 cents. 

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