NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stocks in China are falling over themselves as investors have completely ignored comments by the People's Bank of China that they would intervene and create liquidity in the markets. Currently, half of listed Chinese companies have halted trading in their stock to avoid being caught up in the implosion of Chinese equities. The Shanghai Composite Index closed 5.9% lower today and markets in Asia are starting to feel the pressure from this selloff.
In other overseas action, Greece's new deadline is Friday morning, as the eurozone leadership has given the country until then to offer realistic economic reform proposals.
Meanwhile, investors are set to shift their focus back to domestic markets as earnings season kicks off today. First up: Alcoa (AA). This will be the first chance for investors to hear from a management team what the impact will be of economic uncertainty in Greece and the European Union on the global economic marketplace and whether the stock market dive in China is affecting business there.
Domestic investors will also be focused on the minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's June meeting -- which will be released today at 2 p.m. E.T. In addition, we get the DOE Energy Inventories report at 10:30 a.m. E.T.
Last, if you still want to get your PVH (PVH) manufactured Donald Trump shirts (sold exclusively at Macy's (M)), you'd better hurry as the retailer is pulling the product in response to the billionaire's recent comments about the Hispanic community. So please, Tommy Hilfiger, don't create a controversy -- we don't want to go shirtless!
The New York Times is reporting today that Microsoft (MSFT) is gearing up for a massive round of layoffs in the very near term. A year ago, Microsoft announced it would fire 18,000 employees, or 14% of its workforce.
U.S. stock index futures are down on Wednesday, as is the dollar. Crude is also modestly down in early morning trading -- at $52.16 a barrel.
Today's earnings of note include Alcoa -- which unofficially kicks off the second-quarter earnings season -- and WD-40 (WDFC), both after market close.
- The Chinese government unveiled fresh support measures throughout the trading day but this did not stop panic selling, which sent Chinese stocks to a four-month low. In an unprecedented sign of desperation, all of China's three futures index products for July delivery slumped by their 10% daily limit, meaning investors are extremely bearish on all type of stocks - small, mid, and big cap. The panic was made worse by the fact that around 1,300 listed firms, almost half of the 2,800 or so listed companies, have suspended trading to protect themselves from the meltdown, which means investors moved to sell anything that was still trading.
- The People's Bank of China pledged to support stability in the stock market, which it said it would watch closely. It said it would provide sufficient liquidity to China Securities Finance Corp, the state-backed margin finance company, via various channels.
- European Union leaders said the "No" vote in Sunday's referendum in Greece have severely constrained the ability to help the debt-laden country and gave the Greek government five days to reach common ground or face Grexit. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the EC had a Grexit scenario ready and that the EU would give humanitarian aid to the Greeks if the country does find itself forced out of the union.
- Microsoft (MSFT) plans to announce more layoffs in order to cut costs, the New York Times reports, quoted by Reuters. The latest job cuts are in addition to the 18,000 jobs Microsoft said it planned to cut a year ago, the newspaper said.
- Barclays (BCS) has fired Antony Jenkins as chief executive, after he lost the confidence of the bank's non-executive directors. Jenkins took over from Bob Diamond three years ago after the Libor rigging scandal.