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Pre-Market: Global Stocks Move Off Lows; US and EU Tighten Sanctions on Russia


Nike beat expectations for the seventh straight quarter in a row.

Stock futures pointed toward a higher open for the week's final session.

Before the opening bell, Dow Jones (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were up 0.14% to 16,288. Futures on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) rose 0.19% to 1,869.60. Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures moved higher, rising 0.27% to 3,701.50.

There are no major upcoming economic events, although four Federal Reserve speakers are expected throughout the day: St. Louis Fed President James Bullard speaks at 11:45 a.m.; Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher speaks at 1:45 p.m.; Minneapolis Fed president Narayan Kocherlakota speaks at 4:30 p.m.; and Fed Governor Jeremy Stein speaks at 7:20 p.m.

Global markets found their footing overnight, posting gains following Fed chairperson Janet Yellen's suggestion that interest rate hikes could arrive by year's end. Asian stocks rallied, led by China. The belief that China's Securities Regulatory Commission will allow publicly traded lenders and real estate developers to issue preferred shares boosted the country's benchmark index to a four-month high.

In Europe, the major indices posted gains despite the ongoing situation in Crimea. Russian stocks were down, however, falling as low as 3% during Friday's session. Russian bonds rose to their highest level in a week, while the ruble continued to weaken. Both Standard & Poor's and Fitch have lowered their credit ratings on Russia as the US and Europe expanded their sanctions. Asset freezes and travel bans have been issued on even a larger number of Russian officials and businesspeople.

In earnings news, Nike (NYSE:NKE) beat expectations for a seventh consecutive quarter, posting earnings per share of $0.76 on $6.97 billion of revenue. The sports-gear maker credited orders for World Cup merchandise ahead of this summer's game and sales in China and Western Europe as revenue drivers. However, Nike said that unfavorable exchange rates would severely cut profit in fiscal 2015. Shares dove in after-hours trading. In pre-market trading, shares were 2.61% off yesterday's closing price.

Tiffany (NYSE:TIF) missed estimates with its fourth-quarter earnings, reporting a loss of $0.81 per share thanks to an arbitration ruling that favored Swatch Group. The high-end jewelry retailer projected its worldwide profit would be $4.05 to $4.15 per share, a single-digit percentage gain that missed analyst projections. Shares were down 3.70% in pre-market trading.

Volvo (OTCMKTS:VOLVY) CEO Håkan Samuelsson said his company is expecting 5% sales growth in 2014, after posting a $150 million profit in 2013. China, where Volvo's sales increased 46% last year, was expected to lead growth into this year.

In other stock news, Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) is under investigation by the US Senate, which is trying to determine if the company illegally avoided US taxes by relocating profits outside of the country. Shares were down 0.06% in pre-market trading.

Twitter: @brokawbrokaw
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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