Updated from 6:45 a.m. EDT.
Here are 10 things you should know for Wednesday, April 30:
1. -- U.S. stock futures were pointing to a weaker start for Wall Street on Wednesday as investors awaited a rates announcement from the Federal Reserve following the central bank's two-day meeting.
European stocks were mixed. Asian shares finished Wednesday's session mixed as well. Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.1% after the Bank of Japan avoided changes in its ultra-loose policy.
2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Wednesday includes the ADP Employment Change Index for April at 8:15 a.m. EDT, the advance report on first-quarter GDP at 8:30 a.m., Chicago PMI at 9:45 a.m., and the rate decision from the Federal Open Market Committee at 2 p.m.
3. -- U.S. stocks on Tuesday closed higher amid a solid spate of earrings, even as economic reports suggested a muted beginning to the year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.53% higher to 16,535.37 while theS&P 500 was up 0.48% to 1,878.33. The Nasdaq was 0.72% higher to 4,103.54.4. -- Twitter (TWTR) reported first-quarter results that were better than Wall Street's expectations, while the company topped 255 million monthly active users. For the first quarter, Twitter posted adjusted break-even results on a per-share basis as revenue totaled $250.49 million. Advertising revenue surged 125% year over year to $226 million. Twitter said mobile advertising revenue was about 80% of total advertising revenue, while data licensing and other revenue totaled $24 million, an increase of 76% from a year earlier.
Though the company surpassed 255 million MAUs, up 25% year over year, that growth is slowing. In the fourth quarter of 2013, MAUs grew 30%.
The stock fell 12.6% in premarket trading to $37.25. 5. -- Alstom, the French engineering company, said it decide by the end of May whether to accept a 12.35 billion euros ($17 billion) offer from General Electric (GE) for its energy business. France's government, which regularly intervenes in corporate decision-making, had questioned whether selling Alstom to GE threatens the country's energy independence and jobs. Officials had pressed for more time to allow rival Siemens SI, based in Germany, to make an offer.
Alstom described the proposal to merge with GE as "practically perfect" and said Wednesday should it decide to accept a Siemens offer it would be have to pay GE 1.5% of the purchase price. 6. -- eBay (EBAY) beat conservative first-quarter earnings guidance after it settled a very public two-and-a-half-month battle with billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn. However, the company took a $3 billion tax-related charge to earnings that may cloud strong first-quarter operational performance. eBay reported a non-GAAP profit of 70 cents a share on revenue of $4.3 billion, beating core earnings forecasts. GAAP earnings were clouded by what eBay said was a "discrete tax charge" of about $3 billion on the repatriation of $6 billion in foreign profits.
On a GAAP basis, the company lost $1.82 a share for the quarter.
eBay shares declined 4.3% to $52.20 in premarket trading on Wednesday. 7. -- Entertainment giant Time Warner (TWX) posted first-quarter earnings, excluding some transactions, of 91 cents a share.
Analysts had been expecting profit of 88 cents a share. Revenue climbed to $7.5 billion, also beating analysts' estimates of $6.7 billion.
Time Warner shares rose 0.9% in premarket trading to $65.33. 8. -- Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) reported a 45% decline in first-quarter profit after it wrote down the book value of refineries in Asia and Europe. The company said Wednesday that its net profit fell to $4.51 billion from $8.18 billiona year earlier. The decline followed a $2.29 billion charge on the refineries, notably the Bukom refinery in Singapore. Stripping out various charges and fluctuations in the price of oil, Shell said profit fell 3%. Its production arm increased underlying earnings to $5.71 billion from $5.65 billion, while its refining arm saw earnings shrink to $1.58 billion from $1.85 billion.
9. -- Exelon (EXC) reached a deal to buy fellow utility company Pepco (POM) for $27.25 a share.
The deal is valued at $6.83 billion. Reuters said the merger creates the biggest Mid-Atlantic electric and gas utility.
Pepco shares rose 18% in premarket trading to $26.88. 10. -- Yelp (YELP), the local business review site, is projected to report a first-quarter loss on Wednesday of 6 cents a share. -- Written by Joseph Woelfel
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