Much like today, Wednesday's session looks to be a busy one on the earnings and economic data front, with several key reports scheduled for release. The central report on Wednesday's economic docket will be the latest read on the Labor Department's consumer price index, expected at 8:30 a.m. EDT. The headline number, which measures inflation on the consumer level, is expected to have risen 0.6% in June after a 0.1% increase in May. The core figure, which excludes food and energy, should rise 0.1%, according to economists polled by Reuters. However, a hotter-than-expected June reading on the producer price index Tuesday has some wondering if the CPI will also show rising inflationary pressure. The Labor Department said the June reading for its producer price index came in at 1.8%, the largest jump since November 2007. The core number climbed a larger-than-expected 0.5% last month. At the same time, the New York Federal Reserve will release its Empire State manufacturing index, which should improve to a -5 reading this month from -9.41 in June. Shortly after, at 9:15 a.m. EDT, the Fed will post capacity utilization and industrial production data for June, which aren't expected to change much from May's levels. Wednesday afternoon, the Federal Open Market Committee, the policy-making arm of the Federal Reserve, will release the minutes from its June meeting. At that meeting, the FOMC said the pace of economic contraction is slowing, and that conditions in financial markets have generally improved in recent months. At the meeting, the Fed maintained the target range for the fed funds rate at zero to 0.25%.
"Although economic activity is likely to remain weak for a time, the committee continues to anticipate that policy actions to stabilize financial markets and institutions, fiscal and monetary stimulus, and market forces will contribute to a gradual resumption of sustainable economic growth in a context of price stability," the Fed's statement read. It won't only be about economic data, as the earnings calendar will also be busy. Although the more closely watched reports won't land until Thursday and Friday, Wednesday still has its fair share of companies reporting, including Gannett ( GCI), Abbott Labs ( ABT) and Commerce Bancshares ( CBSH) before the start of trading. During Wednesday's session, American Airlines parent AMR Corp. ( AMR) is expected to release results. Meanwhile, semiconductor maker Xilinx ( XLNX) will headline the spate of reports due out after the closing bell. The real earnings fireworks will start Thursday, when JPMorgan Chase ( JPM), Nokia ( NOK), Google ( GOOG), and IBM ( IBM), among many others, will report quarterly results.