Updated from 6:46 a.m. EDT
Here are 10 things you should know for Wednesday, March 19:
1.-- U.S. stock futures were higher early Wednesday but global stocks were mixed ahead of a policy announcement from the Federal Reserve later in the afternoon.
Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.4%. China's Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.2%.
2.-- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Wednesday includes the fourth-quarter current account balance at 8:30 a.m. EDT, and the rates decision from the Federal Open Market Committee at 2 p.m. EDT.
3.-- U.S. stocks on Tuesday closed higher after Russian President Vladimir Putin calmed markets by assuring there would be no further moves into Ukraine. Weaker-than-expected housing data released Tuesday isn't expected to see the Federal Reserve vary from its course of cutting bond purchases this week.The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.55% to finish at 16,336.19, while the S&P 500 gained 0.72% to 1,872.25. The Nasdaq added 1.25% to 4,333.31.
4.-- Shipping giant FedEx (FDX - Get Report) said severe winter storms cost it $125 million in its fiscal third quarter, causing the company to miss earnings estimates and to reduce guidance for the remainder of the fiscal year.
FedEx shares fell 0.5% to $137.90 in premarket trading on Wednesday.
5. -- The Justice Department is expected to announce a settlement with Toyota (TM) as early as Wednesday that could cost the automaker more than $1 billion to end a criminal probe into its disclosure of safety issues, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.
The deal would cap a four-year investigation with one of the largest fines ever imposed on an automaker, the Journal noted.
Toyota shares fell 0.5% in premarket trading.
6. -- Oracle's (ORCL - Get Report) fiscal third-quarter earnings rose 2% to $2.57 billion, or 56 cents a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $2.5 billion, or 52 cents. Adjusted profit in the latest quarter was 68 cents.
Revenue rose 4% to $9.31 billion.
Oracle was expected by analysts to post fiscal third-quarter earnings of 70 cents a share on revenue of $9.36 billion.
Revenue from new software licenses and cloud software subscriptions increased 4% to $2.42 billion, as bookings for the company's cloud applications jumped more than 60%. Revenue from software license updates and product support rose 5% to $4.56 billion.
The stock fell 3.1% in premarket trading to $37.62.
7. -- Pandora (P) will raise the fees for its ad-free service by $1 a month to $4.99 a month in May, a move to cover the rising cost of licensing tunes.
Pandora said royalties paid to artists had risen 53% over the past five years and will rise another 9% in 2015, according to Reuters.
Pandora rose 1.5% to $35.50.
Excluding one-off items, the software company reported earnings of 30 cents a share on revenue of $1 billion. Analysts expected earnings of 25 cents a share on revenue of $973.1 million.
Quarterly results were bolstered by a surge in Adobe's Marketing Cloud revenue by 24% year over year to $267 million.
Adobe shares rose 0.8% in premarket trading to $69.05.
9. -- Google (GOOG) on Tuesday unveiled an Internet-connected watch.
The "Android Wear" operating system released Tuesday is an altered version of Google's popular software. The new software will run on an array of so-called smartwatches scheduled to be released later this year.
The stock was up 0.3% in premarket trading.
10.-- Japan's Fast Retailing, parent of apparel chain Uniqlo, is no longer in talks to buy U.S. clothing retailer J.Crew Group from its private-equity owners, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
-- Written by Joseph Woelfel