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March 24 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

Tickers in this article: AAPL CMCSA CSCO HLF MSFT NOK SONC WMT

Updated from 6:56 a.m. EDT

Here are 10 things you should know for Monday, March 24:    

1.-- U.S. stock futures were rising Monday while Asian stocks finished with gains on expectations of economic stimulus in China after manufacturing continued to weaken in March.

Japan's Nikkei 225 closed higher by 1.8% while China's Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.9%. 

European shares declined after a eurozone manufacturing survey fell in the first quarter.

2.-- The  economic calendar  in the U.S. on Monday includes the PMI Manufacturing Index Flash for March at 9:45 a.m. EDT.

3.-- U.S. stocks  on Friday closed lower, as investors balanced data showcasing the strength of the economic recovery against the nervousness around a hike in rate guidance from the  Federal Reserve.  

The  Dow Jones Industrial Average  fell 0.17% to 16,302.70 while the  S&P 500  declined 0.30% to 1,866.40. Earlier in the session, the benchmark index touched a record intraday high of 1,883.97 before slipping back. The  Nasdaq slipped 0.98% to close at 4,276.79.

4.-- Apple  is in talks with  Comcast  about teaming up for a streaming-television service that would use an Apple set-top box and get special treatment on Comcast's cables to ensure it bypasses congestion on the Web, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal .

The discussions between Apple and Comcast, the nation's largest cable provider, are still in the early stages and many hurdles remain, according to the newspaper.

Apple's intention is to allow users to stream live and on-demand TV programming and digital-video recordings stored in the "cloud," effectively taking the place of a traditional cable set-top box, the Journal said.

Apple would benefit from a cable-company partner because it wants the new TV service's traffic to be separated from public Internet traffic over the "last mile"-the portion of a cable operator's pipes that connect to customers' homes, the people familiar with the matter told the Journal.

Apple shares rose 1.2% in premarket trading to $539.35 while Comcast shares rose 1.4%.

5. -- Nokia said Monday that the sale of its mobile phone unit to Microsoft will be delayed until next month because it is still waiting for approval from regulatory authorities in Asia.

Nokia said the deal for 5.4 billion euros ($7.3 billion), which was announced in September and was expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2014, has been approved by the EU and U.S. authorities but "certain antitrust authorities In Asia" were still reviewing the deal.

Shares of Nokia rose 0.4% to $7.20 while Microsoft shares rose 0.4% to $40.32 in premarket trading.

6. --   Cisco  plans to begin offering "cloud" computing service to corporate customers, pledging to spend $1 billion over the next two years to enter a market now led by Amazon, the Journal reported.