Aug. 29 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Here are 10 things you should know for Friday, Aug. 29:

1. -- U.S. stock futures were higher Friday ahead of data on personal spending and consumer confidence.

European stocks rose as traders bet on renewed economic stimulus from the European Central Bank in the coming weeks following weaker eurozone data.

Asian shares finished mixed on Friday.

2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Friday includes personal income and personal spending for July at 8:30 a.m. EDT, Chicago PMI for August at 9:45 a.m., and the University of Michigan's final sentiment index for August at 9:55 a.m.

3. -- U.S. stocks on Thursday closed lower as investors fretted about renewed geopolitical risks, which also fed into concerns that there have been increased signs of deflationary spiral dangers coming out of Europe.

TheStreet's Jonathan Marino says the supermarket space is on the mind of many M&A strategists; see why Kroger is Friday's Chart of the Day:


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The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.25% to 17,079.57. The S&P 500  declined 0.17% to 1,996.74. The Nasdaq  fell 0.26% to 4,557.69.

4. -- Google (GOOGL) is building a a fleet of drones to speed up package delivery.

Google calls its foray into drones "Project Wing."

Google's program announced Thursday escalates the search giant's technological arms race with rival Amazon.com (AMZN) , which also is experimenting with self-flying drones for package delivery.

The company said it expects it to take several more years before its fleet of drones is fully operational.

5. -- Apple (AAPL)  is working with Dutch chipmaker NXP to add secure short-range wireless technology into the next iPhone, enabling new pay-by-touch capabilities, the Financial Times reported.

Several people familiar with Apple's plans told the newspaper that NXP will provide the secure near-field communications chips that will allow an iPhone to connect with payment terminals or ticketing systems, as well as opening up the possibility for other applications in the "Internet of things." 

Apple announced Thursday a product launch event for Sept. 9 when it's expected to unveil new iPhones. 

6. -- Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) plans to seek a buyer for Cordis, its business that makes medical devices including stents and catheters, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing said people familiar with the matter

The sales process for Cordis is at an early stage, the people said. The business, which could fetch between $1.5 billion and $2 billion, is expected to attract interest from private-equity firms and other health care companies, one of the people told the Journal.

The revised exploration plan submitted to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in Anchorage calls for two drilling vessels to operate simultaneously in the Chukchi Sea rather than one in the Chukchi and one in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska's north Coast.

The presence of two vessels is required so one can drill a relief well in the event of damage from a blowout.

"Today's filing is not a final decision to drill next summer, but it does preserve the option," a Shell spokesman told The Associated Press in an email.

8. -- Google executive Megan Smith, who was most recently a vice president at Google's X lab, is a top candidate for the role of U.S. chief technology officer, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

Smith would become the third person to fill the CTO job at the White House, after Aneesh Chopra and Todd Park, who recently resigned and is returning home to California this month, Bloomberg noted. 

9. -- Big Lots (BIG) reported second-quarter adjusted earnings of 31 cents a share, higher than guidance the retailer provided in June.

Net sales in the quarter rose 1.2% to $1.2 billion.

The company said it expects adjusted earnings for the full year of $2.40 to $2.50 a share.

10. -- Malaysia Airlines will cut 6,000 workers as part of a $1.9 billion overhaul announced Friday to revive its damaged brand after being hit by two passenger jet disasters.

The staff reduction represents about 30% of its current work force of 20,000. A search for a new CEO also is underway.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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Copyright 2014 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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