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Jan. 15 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know (Update 1)

Here are 10 things you should know for Wednesday, Jan. 15:  

1.-- U.S. stock futures were higher Wednesday but trimming gains after the World Bank predicted global growth will rise to 3.2% this year from 2.4% in 2013, and after earnings from Bank of America (BAC) topped estimates.

European stocks were rising. Asian shares finished Wednesday's session mostly higher. Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 2.5%, a reversal from Tuesday's 3.1% decline. 

2.-- The Producer Price Index for December rose 0.4%, while core PPI rose 0.3%, in line with the estimates of economists.

The Empire State Manufacturing Index for January jumped to 12.5.

The release of the Federal Reserve's "Beige Book" for January is scheduled for 2 p.m. EST.

3.-- U.S. stocks on Tuesday bounced back Tuesday, with the S&P 500 garnering its strongest session of the year, as Federal Reserve voting members Richard Fisher and Charles Plosser bolstered confidence in the economic recovery by emphasizing their support for central bank tapering. 

The S&P 500 gained 1.08% to close at 1,838.88, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.71% to finish at 16,373.86, and the Nasdaq advanced 1.69% to 4,183.02.

4.-- General Motors (GM - Get Report) declared a dividend of 30 cents a share, resuming dividend payments for the first time in nearly six years.

The new dividend is payable in March.

Must Read: Jan. 14 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

The automaker hasn't paid a dividend since June 2008, when it suspended its dividend of 25 cents a share. GM filed for bankruptcy in 2009.

GM also named Chuck Stevens as chief financial officer. Stevens, who was financial chief of GM's North America division, replaces Dan Ammann, who will become the company's president.

GM shares fell 1% to $39.62.

5.-- Bank of America (BAC) posted fourth-quarter earnings of $3.4 billion, or 29 cents a share, compared with year-earlier profit of  $732 million, or 3 cents a share.

Analysts polled by Bloomberg expected earnings of 27 cents a share.

Net income for 2013 was $11.4 billion, or 90 cents a share, compared with $4.2 billion, or 25 cents a share, during 2012. 

"We enter this year with one of the strongest balance sheets in our company's history," said Bank of America Chief Financial Officer Bruce Thompson in a press release. "Capital and liquidity are at record levels, credit losses are at historic lows, our cost savings initiatives are on track and yielding significant savings, and our businesses are seeing good momentum."

Shares were rising 2.9% to $17.26.

6.-- Apple (AAPL - Get Report) CEO said the tech giant's deal with China Mobile (CHL) to offer iPhones will help boost sales of the device, which hit a record high in China in the fiscal first quarter, The Wall Street Journal reported.

China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua said millions of iPhones already have been ordered by its customers. Sales of the iPhone through China Mobile begin Friday.

Speaking Wednesday to local media and the Journal, Cook said he is "incredibly optimistic" about the outcome of the China Mobile deal. Xi said the agreement won't be limited to handsets and entails broad cooperation between the two companies, but didn't provide further specifics, the Journal said.

Apple shares were up 1.6% in premarket trading Wednesday at $555.20.

7.-- Intel (INTC) won't be opening a major chip factory in Chandler, Ariz., that President Obama once touted as an example of U.S. manufacturing potential, Reuters reported.

The facility, which was slated as a $5 billion project that in late 2013 would start producing Intel's most advanced chips, will remain closed for the foreseeable future while other factories at the same site are upgraded, Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy told Reuters.

"The new construction is going to be left vacant for now and it will be targeted at future technologies," Mulloy told Reuters.

Intel's decision to not open the plant was first reported by the Arizona Republic. 

Intel shares rose 0.9% to $26.75 in premarket trading.

8.-- After Time Warner Cable (TWC) Chairman and CEO Rob Marcus snubbed a $61 billion takeover from Charter Communications (CHTR), investors on Tuesday appeared to agree that the cable operator is worth more than the bid of $132.50 a share.  

Time Warner Cable shares rose Tuesday by $3.67, or nearly 2.8%, to $136.07, suggesting that investors see the offer as a floor rather than a final price.

Charter Communications CEO Thomas Rutledge made his pitch in a call to analysts and investors after the close on Tuesday.

9.-- Railroad company CSX (CSX) is expected by analysts to report fourth-quarter earnings of 43 cents a share on revenue of $3.01 billion.

10.-- Casino revenue in Atlantic City fell below $3 billion last year for the first time in 22 years, amid increasing competition in the northeastern U.S., The Associated Press reported. 

Figures released Tuesday by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement showed Atlantic City's casinos won $2.86 billion in 2013, down from just more than $3 billion in 2012. It marked the seventh straight year of plunging gambling revenue for the city, which won $5.2 billion in 2006. 

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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

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Copyright 2014 Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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