Corporate earnings will be coming in fast and furious Wednesday, with reports from several Dow components and another prominent tech name due.

Early on, traders will be treated to quarterly results from Altria ( MO), Abbott Laboratories ( ABT), Coca-Cola ( KO), JPMorgan Chase ( JPM), United Technologies ( UTX) and AMR ( AMR).

Following the close, eBay ( EBAY), E*Trade ( ETFC) and Washington Mutual ( WM) are scheduled to post their numbers.

The day's economic calendar will feature the consumer price index, housing starts and building permits, crude oil inventories and the beige book, the Federal Reserve's regional business survey.

On, check in early for a preview of eBay's quarterly report from senior writer Vishesh Kumar, who will explain which numbers and metrics are key for the Internet auctioneer.

Also, staff reporter Annika Mengisen will offer details on how to operate in China as a small private company, including the legal, commercial and political systems a business owner must be aware of.

No one disputes the growing importance of China on the world stage. But whereas big operations like McDonald's ( MCD) have armies of experts to help them navigate the global environment, the small-business owner needs a helping hand. We'll have the answers.

Elsewhere, senior health analyst Donna O'Rourke of Ratings takes a look at the new resources that consumers can use to compare hospital charges. She'll weigh the pros and cons of each and explain what you can do to make the system work to your advantage.