Updated from 7:08 a.m.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Here are 10 things you should know for Wednesday, May 20:
1. -- U.S. stock futures were flat as investors held their breath for the Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee minutes, which will be released Wednesday afternoon.
European stocks struggled for direction Wednesday. Telecom stocks grabbed the spotlight, led by Amsterdam-listed Altice (ATCEY) on a $9.1 billion deal for a majority stake in Suddenlink Communications.
Asian stocks were mixed. The Hang Seng fell in Hong Kong, while the Nikkei rose in Tokyo.
2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Wednesday includes the Mortgage Bankers' Association mortgage application data at 7 a.m., the Energy Information Administration petroleum status report at 10:30 a.m., and the Federal Open Market Committee's minutes at 2 p.m.
3. -- U.S. stocks on Tuesday were little changed in an unexciting day in the markets.
4. -- The Federal Open Market Committee releases its minutes at 2 p.m., and investors will pore over the results to find hints about when the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates. The Fed's interest rate has been at 0% since 2008. Rates have not risen since 2006.
Conceivably the Fed could raise interest rates in September, although Chair Janet Yellen may table the issue until 2016 due to low inflation and an economy that still has room to grow.
5. -- Amsterdam-listed telecom company Altice (ATCEY) made a $9.1 billion deal for a majority stake in St. Louis, Mo.-based Suddenlink Communications, in a move to enter the U.S. cable market. The Luxembourg-based buyer is controlled by French billionaire Patrick Drahi. Altice said it would buy 70% of Suddenlink Communications, the seventh-largest U.S. cable operator, with 1.4 million residential and 90,000 business customers.
In Amterdam, Altice stock rose 7.22%.
6. -- The rise of high-frequency trading has brought potential risks to the financial system, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said at a meeting of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, a group which includes the top figures at the Federal Reserve and the Securities and Exchange Commission. The group is especially focusing on the unusual volatility in U.S. Treasury securities on Oct. 15, 2014. New regulations on banks, as well as loans banks make to companies with large debt, may also impact liquidity in a crisis, members of the group said.
The council released its full annual report on threats to the financial system on its Web site.
7. -- Shares of Internet company Yahoo! (YHOO) fell sharply Tuesday just before the market closed, ending the day with a loss of 7.62%. At first the drop seemed unexplained, but it looks now as though it was triggered by the Internal Revenue Service's skepticism about Yahoo!'s plan to spin off its ownership stake inAlibaba(BABA) - Get Report in a tax-free move. A rule change at the IRS might disrupt Yahoo!'s plans and the company itself, since Yahoo!'s valuation is heavily dependent on its stake in Alibaba.
In premarket trading, Yahoo! stock was jumping back up by 3.32%.
8. -- Computer Sciences (CSC) confirmed that it will split into two companies. Its commercial business unit will separate from its government contractor division. Jana Partners, an activist investment firm, had urged the move.
The split should help shareholders, and the company's stock leapt 3.83% in premarket trading in a show of enthusiasm.
9. -- UBS (UBS) - Get Report has agreed to pay a $545 million fine for its role in manipulating currency markets and interest rates, it said in a statement. The bank will also plead guilty to a count of wire fraud for fixing the London Interbank Offered Rate.
Barclays(BCS) - Get Report, Citigroup(C) - Get Report, JPMorgan Chase(JPM) - Get Report and the Royal Bank of Scotland(RBS) - Get Report are also expected to plead guilty to antitrust and rate-rigging allegations, and to pay large fines.
In premarket trading, UBS stock was rising 3.27% in its New York offering.
10. -- Earnings reports Wednesday include Staples (SPLS) and Target (TGT) - Get Report before the market opens and L Brands (LB) - Get Report and Salesforce.com (CRM) - Get Report after the market closes.