Jan. 24 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know (Update 1)

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Here are 10 things you should know for Friday, Jan. 24:  

1.-- U.S. stock futures were pointing to a sharply lower open for Wall Street on Friday and European and Asian shares declined on continued concerns over a slowdown in the Chinese economy, the world's second-largest.

Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.9% to close at 15,391.56. The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong declined 1.3%.

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

3.-- U.S. stocks  on Thursday fell sharply as signs of a slowdown in China, the world's second-largest economy, coupled with a mediocre global forecast from  McDonald's  offset data suggesting the U.S. labor market was generally improving.

The S&P 500  declined 0.89% to close at 1,828.46 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 1.07% to finish at 16,197.35. The Nasdaq slipped 0.57% to 4,218.87.

4.-- Billionaire investor Carl Icahn told The Wall Street Journal in an interview Thursday evening that he is prepared for a proxy fight to win two seats on the board of eBay and push the company to split off its PayPal unit.

Icahn told the Journal he expects eBay to resist the proposal, as eBay executives and directors have done so far.

"The company seems to be sort of dug in on the fact they don't want to do the PayPal spinoff," Icahn said. "We hope we don't [have a proxy fight], but if we have to, we will."

Icahn has acquired a stake of nearly 2% in the online retailer. He told the Journal he thinks and independent PayPal could be acquired.

Shares of eBay fell 1% to $54.41 in premarket trading.

5.-- Consumer-products giant  Procter & Gamble  said Friday that fiscal second-quarter net income fell 16% as the company faced tough comparisons from a year earlier, the stronger dollar and flat sales globally.

Adjusted earnings of $1.21 a share, however, topped expectations by a penny.

6.-- Microsoft  reported fiscal second-quarter earnings and revenue that topped Wall Street expectations as strong Surface sales growth helped offset continued weakness in Windows OEM. 

Microsoft reported earnings  of 78 cents a share; analysts were looking for 68 cents. Revenue was $24.52 billion, surpassing expectations of $23.68 billion.

During the quarter, Microsoft's software and services, and hardware segments posted increases.

The company didn't disclose any information on its search for a new CEO .

Shares were rising 2.4% in premarket trading to $36.91.

7.-- Samsung said net profit in the October-December quarter declined from the previous quarter, the first time that has happened in two years.

The maker of Galaxy smartphones said net profit in the period fell 11% from the third quarter to 7.3 trillion won ($6.8 billion).

Samsung's mobile business, which generally contributes about 70% of the company's earnings, posted its smallest profit in a year after sales decreased slightly from the previous three months.