Here are five things you must know for Friday, March 17:
1. -- U.S. stock futures traded mixed and European shares rose Friday ahead of data on U.S. consumer confidence, which has risen since the election of Donald Trump as president.
Stocks on Thursday ended mostly lower as a selloff in health care challenged optimism over the Federal Reserve's decision to raise interest rates.
The economic calendar in the U.S. on Friday includes Industrial Production for February at 9:15 a.m. EDT, Consumer Sentiment for March at 10 a.m., and the weekly Baker Hughes rig count at 1 p.m.
Trump will welcome German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the White House on Friday. The president spent much of last year bashing Merkel, accusing her of "ruining" Germany for allowing refugees from Syria.
2. -- White House economic adviser Gary D. Cohn is selling a significant holding in the world's largest bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, as he clears potential conflicts of interest to serve in his new role, The New York Times reported.
The stock that Cohn is selling in ICBC, which has nearly $3.5 trillion in assets, would be valued at about $16 million based on Thursday's trading, according to details of his holdings in a set of documents issued by the Office of Government Ethics, the Times reported.
The position in the Chinese bank appears to be the largest stock, private-equity or hedge fund holding -- apart from his shares in Goldman Sachs, where he was president -- that Cohn will have to sell because of his new job. Cohn is now the director of the National Economic Council advising Donald Trump.
Cohn's holdings in the Chinese bank are notable because the Trump administration has portrayed China as a threat to American economic growth, the Times noted.
3. --Adobe Systems (ADBE - Get Report) shares were rising 5% in premarket trading on Friday after the software company posted fiscal first-quarter earnings and sales that topped Wall Street forecasts.
Adjusted earnings in the quarter were 94 cents a share, topping analysts' forecasts of 87 cents. Revenue was $1.68 billion, higher than estimates of $1.38 billion.
The tremendous success of Adobe's Creative Cloud platform, which covers the company's core media software franchises, remains its biggest growth driver, wrote TheStreet's Eric Jhonsa. Total Creative revenue in the quarter rose 29% from a year earlier to $942 million (or 56% of total revenue).
Related: Adobe Stock Rises on Earnings Beat
TheStreet's Jim Cramer, which owns Adobe in the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio, said the company, with its "marketing and monitoring and managing cloud products, has become the pure play on adoption of the cloud. So many think Adobe's Acrobat, but Adobe manages trillions of bits of data and really can be considered the way marketers try to reach people on the web and how artists express themselves across all platforms."
Tiffany (TIF - Get Report) , the jewelry retailer, posted fiscal fourth-quarter profit that topped analysts' expectations and provided an upbeat outlook for 2017. The stock rose 1.4% in premarket trading.
4. -- Apple (AAPL - Get Report) said Friday on its Chinese website that it would set up two additional research and development centers in Shanghai and Suzhou, joining two others locations in China that the tech giant announced last year.
The four centers are expected to open later in 2017, Apple said.
Apple said it has committed to invest more than 3.5 billion yuan in research and development in China.
5. -- Boeing (BA - Get Report) said Thursday it signed a five-year, $3.4 billion contract with the U.S. government through which the U.S. Army and an international customer will buy the latest Apache attack helicopter -- the Apache 'E' variant.
The Army will get 244 re-manufactured Apaches while the international customer will receive 24 new ones, Boeing said.
Boeing didn't name the international customer.
The Apache is built in Mesa, Ariz.