Updated from 5:58 a.m. EDT
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Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, May 24:
1. -- U.S. stock futures were marginally higher on Wednesday ahead of minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting earlier this month, and after Moody's lowered the credit rating for China, the world's second-largest economy, amid concerns for rising debt levels and slowing growth.
The economic calendar in the U.S. on Wednesday includes the FHFA House Price Index for March at 9 a.m. EDT, Existing Home Sales for April at 10 a.m., Oil Inventories for the week ended May 19, at 10:30 a.m., and minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's meeting on May 3, at 2 p.m.
Wall Street will be paying close attention to the minutes from the U.S. central bank, looking for clues as to the pace of interest rate hikes through the rest of 2017. Most economists are pricing in a rate hike when the Fed meets next in mid-June.
Stocks in China ended 0.07% higher despite Moody's cut of Beijing's government debt rating.
Moody's clipped China's rating by one notch, taking it to A1 from a previous grade of Aa3, marking the country's first downgrade in nearly 30 years. Moody's said the new rating outlook is stable, however, and said the country remains resilient to negative shocks and that growth is likely to remain comparably strong in the near-term. However, Moody's said the downgrade "reflects the expectation that China's financial strength will erode somewhat over the coming years, with economy-wide debt continuing to rise as potential growth slows."
Lowe's (LOW) - Get Reportwas tumbling more than 7% in premarket trading on Wednesday after the home-improvement retailer posted first-quarter adjusted profit and sales that came in below Wall Street forecasts. Adjusted earnings of $1.03 a share missed forecasts by 3 cents, while revenue of $16.86 billion came in below predictions of $16.95 billion. Lowe's said same-store sales in the quarter rose 1.9%.
Earnings are also expected Wednesday from Tiffany(TIF) - Get Report , HP Inc.(HPQ) - Get Report , NetApp(NTAP) - Get Report , Williams-Sonoma(WSM) - Get Report and Advance Auto Parts(AAP) - Get Report .
2. -- Toshiba (TOSYY) surged the most in four months in trading in Tokyo on Wednesday after domestic media reports said Western Digital(WDC) - Get Report offered nearly $18 billion for the troubled conglomerate's flash-memory division.
The Kyodo news agency said Western Digital CEO Steve Milligan would meet with Toshiba's president, Satoshi Tsunakawa, later Wednesday to discuss the sale as the companies attempt to iron out differences linked to a SanDisk joint venture that Western Digital alleged was moved into a separate memory unit business in order to be sold more quickly.
Toshiba is attempting to sell its lucrative chip business in order to cover costs associated with the collapse of its U.S nuclear division, Westinghouse, and its subsequent Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. But the process has been hampered by delays linked to the company's financial statements and a request by Western Digital to the International Court of Arbitration to block the sale.
Toshiba shares rose more than 8.3% in Tokyo, the biggest gain since Jan. 23, to end the session at 251.5 yen.
3. -- Bunge(BG) - Get Report shares jumped 16.6% on Tuesday but were down 5.3% in premarket trading on Wednesday after the grain trader said it wasn't engaged in "business combination discussions" with Glencore (GLNCY) .
"Bunge is committed to continuing to execute its global agri-foods strategy and pursuing opportunities for driving growth and value creation," the company said in a brief statement late Tuesday.
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Bunge received a takeover bid from Glencore, the Swiss mining company.
Sources told the Journal they didn't know whether any discussions aout the offer have taken place, but any potential sale would be substantial given Bunge's $10 billion market cap and $15 billion enterprise value.
Bunge is one of the four global agribusiness companies that dominate the market, generating nearly $43 billion in revenue last year.
4. -- Nvidia(NVDA) - Get Report was rising 3% in premarket trading on Wednesday after Bloomberg reported Softbank Group quietly has amassed a $4 billion stake in Nvidia, making it the fourth-largest shareholder in the graphics chipmaker.
The Japanese company, which just closed its Vision Fund, disclosed it owned an unspecified amount of Nvidia stock when it announced $93 billion of commitments to the technology investment fund on Saturday, Bloomberg reported. A holding of 4.9%, just under the amount that would require a regulatory disclosure in the U.S., would be worth about $4 billion, Bloomberg noted.
5. -- Constellation Brands(STZ) - Get Report , the owner of Corona and beers and Svedka Vodka, made an approach to acquire Jack Daniel's ownerBrown-Forman , people with knowledge of the matter told CNBC, but Brown-Forman said it wasn't interested in selling.
Terms of any potential offer could not be learned, but Brown-Forman's market cap is around $22 billion. There are no ongoing talks, one of the people told CNBC, but Constellation remains interested in a potential merger.
Brown-Forman shares rallied after the news was first reported but the stock ended trading on Tuesday down more than 6% to $53.38.
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