The economic calendar in the U.S. Wednesday includes wholesale inventories for August at 10 a.m. EDT, Treasury Department budget data at 2 p.m., and the Federal Reserve's Beige Book report for September also at 2 p.m.
U.S. stocks on Tuesday finished just above session lows as the International Monetary Fund's downgrade of the global economic outlook added to investor skittishness heading into the start of the new earnings season. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 110 points, or 0.81%, at 13,473.
Alcoa (AA - Get Report) kicked off the third-quarter earnings season on Tuesday by delivering a surprise profit.
Yum! Brands (YUM - Get Report), the restaurant operator whose brands include Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC, lifted its outlook for the full year to adjusted earnings of at least $3.24 a share after beating analysts' expectations in the third quarter.
Chevron (CVX - Get Report) said third-quarter earnings would be "substantially lower" than in the second quarter as oil production declined in the first two months of the quarter and it received a lower price from the sale of oil.
FedEx (FDX - Get Report) set a goal Tuesday of improving profit by $1.7 billion over the next three years, largely by cutting costs at its underperforming express air division.
Costco Wholesale (COST) said Wednesday that fiscal-fourth-quarter net income rose 27%. Earnings also are expected Wednesday from Progressive (PGR) and Ruby Tuesday (RT).
Toyota (TM) plans to recall 7.43 million vehicles in the U.S., Japan, Europe and elsewhere around the globe because of a faulty power-window switch.
Wal-Mart (WMT - Get Report), the world's largest retailer, holds a meeting Wednesday with investors in Bentonville, Ark. The meeting begins at 8:45 a.m.
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