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Morning Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were pointing slightly lower Wednesday, signaling a weaker start on Wall Street following declines in Europe and Asia.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 2.1% to close at 10,486.99, a day after the Bank of Japan said it would undertake open-ended asset purchases starting in 2014. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.1%.

The economic calendar in the U.S. Wednesday includes the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Market Index at 7 a.m. EST, and the FHFA House Price Index at 9 a.m.

U.S. stocks on Tuesday ended higher as investors digested a handful of earnings reports and economic data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 62 points, or 0.46%, to finish at 13,712. The blue-chip index remained on pace for its biggest monthly gain since October 2011.

The S&P 500 climbed 7 points, or 0.44%, to 1493. The Nasdaq increased 8 points, or 0.27%, to 3143.

The U.S. House of representatives votes Wednesday on a motion to increase the nation's $16.4 trillion borrowing limit for three months.

President Obama, the White House said, would sign the bill if it gets the OK from Congress.

Google (GOOG - Get Report), the search giant, posted fourth-quarter earnings growth of 12%.

Google earned $10.65 a share in the quarter on $11.3 billion in revenue, excluding traffic acquisition costs. With TAC, Google generated $14.42 billion in sales, up 36% from the same period last year.

IBM (IBM - Get Report) topped Wall Street's fourth-quarter earnings estimates, boosted by strength in its software business.

Apple (AAPL - Get Report), the iPod, iPhone and iPad maker, is expected by analysts Wednesday to post quarterly earnings of $13.43 a share on revenue of close to $55 billion.

McDonald's (MCD - Get Report), the world's biggest fast-food chain, is expected by analysts Wednesday to report fourth-quarter earnings of $1.33 a share on revenue of $6.89 billion.

Texas Instruments (TXN - Get Report) beat analysts' fourth-quarter estimates on Tuesday, but warned of weak demand.

Shares of Dell (DELL) jumped 2.2% Tuesday following reports that Microsoft (MSFT) could invest as $3 billion in an eventual takeover of the struggling PC maker.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Joseph Woelfel

>To submit a news tip, send an email to:

Copyright 2013 Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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