NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures suggested Wall Street would open lower Wednesday ahead of Automatic Data Processing's employment change report for March and after the Federal Reserve hinted Tuesday that another round of monetary stimulus was unlikely.
European stocks were moving lower and Asian shares fell sharply: Japan's Nikkei 225 index declined 2.3% to 9,819.99, its lowest close in nearly a month, while South Korea's Kospi fell 1.5%.
The European Central Bank meets Wednesday; no change in interest rates is expected.
The ADP report will be released at 8:15 a.m. EDT. Last month, ADP reported an increase in nonfarm private payrolls of 216,000 in February.Also on the U.S. economic calendar Wednesday is the Institute for Supply Management's services index for March at 10 a.m. EDT.
General Electric's (GE) credit rating was downgraded a notch by Moody's because the agency said it sees risks associated with the funding model of GE's lending unit, General Electric Capital Corp. GE was cut to Aa3 from Aa2. GE Capital's rating was cut by two notches to A1 from Aa2. Moody's said because GE Capital is so big, it must rely on funding from financial markets, which aren't reliable and where risks remain.
Regulators are set to penalize JPMorgan Chase (JPM) for actions tied to the demise of Lehman Brothers in 2008, The New York Times reported, citing people briefed on the matter. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is expected this week to file a civil case against JPMorgan. The bank is expected to settle the matter and pay a fine of about $20 million, the newspaper said. The action by the CFTC will be the first federal enforcement case to stem from Lehman's downfall, according to the Times. The CFTC is expected to accuse JPMorgan of overextending credit to Lehman for two years leading up to its bankruptcy in 2008, the people briefed on the matter said.
Burger King, the hamburger chain, is going public again. It said it expects to relist its shares on the New York Stock Exchange within the next three months. 3G Capital, a New York-based investment firm, plans to sell a 29% stake in Burger King for $1.4 billion in cash to Justice Holdings, a firm based in London. Once the deal is complete, Justice Holding's shares will suspend trading on the London Stock Exchange and the company will then emerge as Burger King Worldwide Inc. and its shares will trade on the NYSE.
Mitt Romney swept three primaries on Tuesday, bumping up his delegate lead in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Romney's wins in Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington D.C. give the former Massachusetts governor a firm lead and drastically reduce Rick Santorum's changes for the GOP nod.
-- Written by Joseph Woelfel
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