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March 20 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

Tickers in this article: BA C CAG EBAY JPM LEN MS NKE WMT

Updated from 6:57 a.m. EDT

Here are 10 things you should know for Thursday, March 20:    

1.-- U.S. stock futures were falling Thursday after  Federal Reserve  Chairwoman Janet Yellen hinted that U.S. interest rates could rise sooner than financial markets were expecting.

European stocks declined while Asian shares finished Thursday's session with losses. Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.7%.

2.-- The  economic calendar  in the U.S. on Thursday includes weekly initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. EDT, existing home sales for February at 10 a.m., the Philadelphia Fed Index for March at 10 a.m., and leading indicators for February at 10 a.m.

3.-- U.S. stocks  on Wednesday closed lower but bounced off session lows Wednesday after Yellen explained the central bank's revised forward guidance, including a plan to drop the unemployment threshold.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average  lost 0.7% to finish at 16,222.17, the  S&P 500  fell 0.61% to 1,860.77 and the  Nasdaq dropped 0.59% to 4,307.6.

4.-- The Fed on Thursday will publish the results of its annual health check of big banks , including  Citigroup JPMorgan  and Morgan Stanley  .

If the Fed finds that any of the 30  banks subject to the so-called stress tests are still at risk, the banks will then have a few days to change any plans they may have made to return capital to shareholders through  dividends or buybacks, according to  Reuters.

5. -- Homebuilder Lennar  posted first-quarter earnings on Thursday that beat expectations.

Profit in the fiscal first quarter rose to $78.1 million, or 35 cents a share, from $57.5 million, or 26 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 38% to $1.4 billion.

The company said home deliveries in the quarter were 3,609, up 13% from a year earlier. 

Lennar shares rose 2.6% in premarket trading on Thursday to $42.40.

6. -- Sports equipment and apparel maker Nike is expected by analysts on Thursday to report profit of 72 cents a share in its fiscal third quarter on revenue of $6.68 billion.

7. -- Activist investor Carl Icahn on Wednesday proposed that eBay spin off 20% of PayPal in an initial public offering.

Icahn has badgered the company since the beginning of 2014 to separate PayPal in a complete spinoff.

eBay repeated on Wednesday that PayPal should remain part of it. PayPal's revenue is growing faster than the sales of the rest of the company.

eBay shares fell 0.3% in premarket trading.

8. -- Walmart  is making an aggressive push for outdoor and garden business this spring for the first time, featuring "Black Friday-like prices" on more than 60 items, The New York Times noted, including a Kingsford Charcoal Grill for $88, bags of mulch for $1.97 each and a seven-piece patio furniture set for $298, a discount of $100.