March 7 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

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Updated from 6:56 a.m. EST

Here are 10 things you should know for Friday, March 7:   

1.-- U.S. stock futures were flat and European and Asian shares were muted on Friday ahead of U.S. jobs data.

European stocks were lower. Asian shares ended the session mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average gained 0.9%

2.-- The  economic calendar  in the U.S. on Friday includes the nonfarm payrolls report for February at 8:30 a.m. EST, the trade balance for January at 8:30 a.m. and consumer credit for January at 3 p.m.

3.-- U.S. stocks  on Thursday finished mixed but the  S&P 500  settled at another record high amid fewer jobless claims.

The S&P 500  rose 0.17% to close at 1,877.03 while the  Dow Jones Industrial Average  gained 0.38% to 16,421.89. The  Nasdaq fell slightly to 4,352.13.

4.-- Russia's parliament on Friday supported Crimean lawmakers who want to see their region split from Ukraine and join Russia, CNN reported. Russia said no sanctions imposed by the United States or Europe will change its mind.

President Obama urged Russian President Vladimir Putin in a one-hour phone call on Thursday to pursue a diplomatic solution to the military incursion into Crimea, including direct talks between Russia and Ukraine with outside observers, USA Today reported.

5.-- Safeway  said Thursday it has agreed to be acquired by privately held supermarket chain  Albertsons for $40 a share, in a major consolidation of the supermarket  industry. The deal also means private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management is pushing headlong into the supermarket industry after buying Albertsons from  Supervalu in early 2013.

Cerberus-backed Albertsons will offer Safeway shareholders $32.50 a share in cash, in addition to a contingent consideration worth an estimated $3.65 a share and a distribution of stock in  Blackhawk Network Holdings  worth $3.95 a share. The latter distribution was announced in February as part of Safeway's 2014 outlook.

The deal stipulates that Safeway will conduct a 45-day "go shop" to seek a higher bid than Albertson's offer of $40 a share. Supermarket giant  Kroger  has been reported as a possible buyer of Safeway but a deal may raise antitrust concerns. 

Safeway shares fell 2.5% in premarket trading to $38.50.

6. -- Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto said Thursday that he isn't the creator of bitcoin, adding further mystery to the story of how the world's most popular digital currency came to be.

The denial came after Newsweek published a 4,500-word cover story claiming Nakamoto is the person who wrote the computer code underpinnings of bitcoin. 

In an exclusive two-hour interview with The Associated Press , Nakamoto, 64, denied he had anything to do with it and said he had never heard of bitcoin until his son told him he had been contacted by a Newsweek reporter three weeks ago.