) -- U.S. stock futures were suggesting a higher Wall Street open on Wednesday, a day after stocks suffered sharp losses amid a flood of disappointing earnings reports.

European stocks were slightly lower while Asian shares ended mostly lower. Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.7% to close at 8,954.30.

HSBC said Wednesday its monthly China purchasing managers' index pointed to a contraction in manufacturing, but at a slower rate than the previous month.

The economic calendar in the U.S. Wednesday includes the conclusion of a two-day policy meeting for the Federal Open Market Committee. This is the last meeting before the presidential election and there won't be a press conference with

Federal Reserve

Chairman Ben Bernanke after a decision on rates is announced at 2:15 p.m. EDT.

Also on Wednesday's calendar are new-home sales for September at 10 a.m., and the Federal Housing Finance Agency's housing price index for August at 10 a.m.

U.S. stocks

on Tuesday plunged after another round of poor quarterly numbers and lowered outlooks from U.S. companies deepened concerns about a widespread slowdown in the global economy.


Dow Jones Industrial Average

fell more than 243 points, or 1.82%, to finish at 13,102.53, its weakest close since Sept. 5.


(FB) - Get Report

, the social networking giant, posted

third-quarter earnings

Tuesday that slightly beat Wall Street estimates and indicated it is making solid progress on a strategy to profitably transition users to mobile devices.


(AAPL) - Get Report

ended months of rumor and speculation on Tuesday, unveiling its

iPad Mini

during an eagerly anticipated launch event in San Jose, Calif.

With a 7.9-inch display, the new iPad is significantly smaller than previous Apple iPad offerings.


(T) - Get Report

is scheduled to report its third-quarter results before Wednesday's opening bell and analysts expect earnings of 60 cents a share in the September-ended period on revenue of $31.58 billion.

Aerospace giant


(BA) - Get Report

is expected Wednesday to post third-quarter earnings of $1.13 a share on revenue of $20.03 billion

Companies reporting earnings early Wednesday include

American Electric Power

(AEP) - Get Report


Avery Dennison

(AVY) - Get Report


Brinker International

(EAT) - Get Report


Bristol-Myers Squibb

(BMY) - Get Report



(GLW) - Get Report


Delta Air Lines

(DAL) - Get Report


Dr. Pepper Snapple Group



Eli Lilly

(LLY) - Get Report


EMC Corp.



General Dynamics

(GD) - Get Report


Hudson Bancorp



Jones Apparel




(KMB) - Get Report


Lockheed Martin

(LMT) - Get Report


Motorola Solutions

(MSI) - Get Report


Nasdaq OMX Group



Northrop Grumman

(NOC) - Get Report


Six Flags

(SIX) - Get Report



(TUP) - Get Report


US Airways


, and

Wyndham Worldwide



Wednesday's late roster features

Akamai Technologies

(AKAM) - Get Report


Cheesecake Factory

(CAKE) - Get Report


Citrix Systems

(CTXS) - Get Report





Skechers U.S.A.

(SKX) - Get Report





Tractor Supply

(TSCO) - Get Report

, and


(ZNGA) - Get Report


A union leader said


(F) - Get Report

has decided to close one of its main factories in eastern Belgium by the end of 2014 in a move that will result in 4,500 direct job losses and 5,000 more among subcontractors,

The Associated Press


-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

>To contact the writer of this article, click here:

Joseph Woelfel

>To submit a news tip, send an email to:


-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

>To contact the writer of this article, click here:

Joseph Woelfel

>To submit a news tip, send an email to:


Copyright 2012 Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.