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July 21 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know


Here are 10 things you should know for Monday, July 21:

1. -- U.S. stock futures were trading flat on Monday and European stocks declined amid escalating tensions between Russia and the West over Russia's involvement in Ukraine. Investor jitters also grew as battles in the Gaza Strip entered their 14th day.

Asian shares ended the session mostly lower.

2. -- The  economic calendar  in the U.S. on Monday includes the Chicago Fed National Activity Index at 8:30 a.m. EDT

3. -- U.S. stocks  on Friday and the week closed higher as investors piled into equities after Thursday's pullback on geopolitical worries.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average  on Friday rose 0.73% to 17,100.18. The  S&P 500  gained 1% to 1,978.22. The  Nasdaq rose 1.6% to 4,432.15.

4. -- Wall Street expects  second-quarter earnings  at online streaming company Netflix  to have more than doubled to $1.16 a share from 49 cents a year earlier, even as the company  invests more in production and international expansion.

Revenue is expected to jump nearly 25% to $1.33 billion.

"While investor expectations have increased recently, we believe they remain achievable," wrote Pacific Crest Securities analyst Andy Hargreaves in a note.

5. -- McDonald's and KFC in China faced a new food safety scare Monday after a Shanghai television station reported a supplier sold them expired beef and chicken.

The companies said they immediately stopped using meat from the supplier, Husi Food Co . The Shanghai office of China's food and drug agency said it was investigating and told customers to suspend use of its products.

Dragon TV said Sunday that Husi, owned by OSI Group of Aurora, Ill., repackaged stale beef and chicken and put new expiration dates on them. It said they were sold to McDonald's, KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants.

The report added to a series of food safety scares in China that have battered public confidence in dairies, fast food outlets and other suppliers.

McDonald's and Yum! Brands , which owns KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, said in separate statements they were conducting their own investigations.

"Food safety is a top priority for McDonald's," the company said on its microblog account. The company said it pursues "strict compliance" with consumer safety laws and regulations and has "zero tolerance for illegal behavior."

6. -- Severstal, the Russian steelmaker, will sell its U.S. plants to Steel Dynamics and AK Steel for $2.33 billion.

Severstal plans to sell its plant in northeast Mississippi to Steel Dynamics. It will sell its plant in Dearborn, Mich., to AK Steel.

The sale would mark Severstal's exit from the U.S. and comes amid tightening sanctions against Russian concerns because of Russia's alleged involvement in the crisis in Ukraine.

7. -- Elliott Management Corp. has taken a stake of more than $1 billion in EMC and plans to push the data-storage giant to break itself apart, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.