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April 21 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know


Here are 10 things you should know for Thursday, April 21:

1. -- U.S. stock futures rose on Thursday while most European stocks edged higher as the European Central Bank prepared to meet to set rates.

Asian stocks ended Thursday's session mostly higher. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 2.7%.

Oil prices in the U.S. rose slightly to $44.20 a barrel. The International Energy Agency said Thursday that 2016 would see the biggest fall in non-OPEC production in a generation.

2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Thursday includes weekly Initial Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m. EDT, the Philadelphia Fed Index for April at 8:30 a.m., the FHFA Housing Price Index for February at 9 a.m., and Leading Indicators for March at 10 a.m.

3. -- U.S. stocks on Wednesday finished higher as crude oil roared to its highest level of the year.

The S&P 500 was up 0.08%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.24%, and the Nasdaq added 0.16%.

4. -- Yum! Brands (YUM - Get Report) , the parent company of fast-food brands Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell, reported first-quarter earnings of 95 cents a share, trouncing analyst expectations of 83 cents, on strong growth in China.

Total revenue, which was weighed down by the negative impact of the strong U.S. dollar, was unchanged vs. the prior year at $2.62 billion. Wall Street estimated revenue of $2.66 billion.

The company raised its core operating profit growth guidance for the year to 12% from 10% previously.

Yum! Brands saw particular strength in KFC China, which posted a same-store sales increase of 12%. The division continues to be on the comeback trail after a challenging 2015, due in part to improved promotional strategies and an enhanced menu of more affordable food.

5. -- Volkwagen (VLKAY) is expected Thursday to announce it has reached a deal with the U.S. government and private lawyers for the German automaker to buy back some vehicles and spend just more than $1 billion to compensate owners for...