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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were rising Wednesday after stocks posted their fifth down day in a row during the previous trading session.

Shares in Europe were rising slightly, while Asian stocks were mostly lower Wednesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 fell for a seventh-straight day, down 0.8% to close at 9,458.74.

The economic calendar in the U.S. on Wednesday includes export and import prices for March at 8:30 a.m. EDT, and the release of the Fed's Beige Book on recent economic conditions at 2 p.m.

Economists polled by Reuters forecast a 0.8% rise in import prices and a 0.4% increase in export prices.

Alcoa ( AA), the aluminum giant, posted a surprise quarterly profit.

Alcoa, the first component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average to report its results each quarter, posted first-quarter earnings from continuing operations of $94 million, or 10 cents a share, on revenue of $6.01 billion. The average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters was for a loss of 4 cents a share on revenue of $5.77 billion.

The company attributed the better-than-expected results to "strong productivity improvements across all businesses, higher realized prices for aluminum, and improved volume and mix."

Alcoa also reaffirmed its outlook for 7% growth in global aluminum demand in 2012.

Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands ( LVS), said Wednesday he plans to spend $35 billion on a mini-Las Vegas strip in Spain.

He is looking at the country's two top urban areas, Barcelona and Madrid, with plans for a casino complex, according to a report from Reuters.

"We are looking at 12 integrated resorts, 3,000 rooms each. A mini Las Vegas, about half the size of the Las Vegas strip in Spain for the European market," said Adelson, who was speaking at a press conference ahead of the opening of his new $4 billion casino property in Macau.

Yahoo! ( YHOO) CEO Scott Thompson laid out his vision for the Internet company on Tuesday.

Thompson, who came from PayPal, a division of eBay ( EBAY), announced that the company will be realigning itself into three divisions: Consumer, (which is made up of Media, Connections and Commerce); Regions, which targets emerging markets; and Technology, which focuses on the company's infrastructure.

The company announced last week it was laying off 2,000 workers.

A tsunami watch was issued Wednesday across the Indian Ocean region after an earthquake, initially measured at 8.9, struck under the sea off the Indonesian province of Aceh.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was centered about 20 miles under the sea about 269 miles Banda Aceh, the provincial capital. The quake was revised down by the USGS to 8.6.

The earthquake quake was felt as far away as Singapore, Thailand, Bangladesh, Malaysia and India, according to reports.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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

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