) -- U.S. stock futures were signaling Wall Street would open higher on Wednesday ahead of a rates announcement from the

Federal Reserve


European shares were rising while Asian stocks finished Wednesday's trading session with losses as manufacturing in China slowed. Japan's Nikkei 225 average closed down 0.6% at 8,641.85.

The economic calendar in the U.S. Wednesday includes the Federal Open Market Committee rate decision at 2:15 p.m. EDT; Automatic Data Processing's employment change report for July at 8:15 a.m.; the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index for July at 10 a.m; and construction spending for June at 10 a.m.

U.S. stocks

on Tuesday fell for a second consecutive session with traders showing some nervousness as the Fed began its two-day policy meeting.

The Fed will issue its decision on interest rates Wednesday afternoon. More quantitative easing from the central bank would be a surprise but a change in the Fed's pledge to keep rates at historic lows for longer than currently telegraphed is viewed as likely.


Dow Jones Industrial Average

slumped 64 points, or 0.49%, to close at 13,009 on Tuesday.

Automakers such as


(F) - Get Report


General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

issue their car and truck sales reports for July on Wednesday.

Media and entertainment giant

Time Warner


is expected by analysts Wednesday to post second-quarter adjusted earnings of 59 cents a share on revenue of $6.95 billion.


(MA) - Get Report

, the credit card processor, is scheduled to report second-quarter results before Wednesday's opening bell and analysts expect earnings of $5.58 a share on revenue of $1.88 billion.

Other companies scheduled to report earnings before Wednesday's opening bell include


(AGN) - Get Report





Automatic Data Processing

(ADP) - Get Report


Burger King Worldwide




(CMCSA) - Get Report


Devon Energy

(DVN) - Get Report


Dollar Thrifty Automotive




(EXC) - Get Report



(GRMN) - Get Report



(ICE) - Get Report


R.R. Donnelly

(RRD) - Get Report

, and

Vonage Holdings

(VG) - Get Report


Late reporters include

Avis Budget Group

(CAR) - Get Report


Extreme Networks

(EXTR) - Get Report


First Solar

(FSLR) - Get Report


Green Mountain Coffee Roasters



LeapFrog Enterprises



Lincoln National

(LNC) - Get Report



(MET) - Get Report


Onyx Pharmaceuticals




(PRU) - Get Report



(RIG) - Get Report


Weight Watchers International

(WTW) - Get Report



(WMB) - Get Report



(NOK) - Get Report

shares were rising more than 10% Wednesday on talk that Chinese PC maker


may be interested in the struggling Finnish cellphone maker,



The U.S. is tied with China for the most medals -- 23 -- over the first four days of competition at the Olympic Games in London. China has won 13 gold medals; the U.S. has won nine.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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Joseph Woelfel

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