Morning Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- 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.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped 64 points, or 0.49%, to close at 13,009 on Tuesday.

Automakers such as Ford ( F) and General Motors ( GM) issue their car and truck sales reports for July on Wednesday.

Media and entertainment giant Time Warner ( TWX) is expected by analysts Wednesday to post second-quarter adjusted earnings of 59 cents a share on revenue of $6.95 billion.

MasterCard ( MA), 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 Allergan ( AGN), Amerigroup ( AGP), Automatic Data Processing ( ADP), Burger King Worldwide ( BKW), Comcast ( CMCSA), Devon Energy ( DVN), Dollar Thrifty Automotive ( DTG), Exelon ( EXC), Garmin ( GRMN), IntercontinentialExchange ( ICE), R.R. Donnelly ( RRD), and Vonage Holdings ( VG).

Late reporters include Avis Budget Group ( CAR), Extreme Networks ( EXTR), First Solar ( FSLR), Green Mountain Coffee Roasters ( GMCR), LeapFrog Enterprises ( LF), Lincoln National ( LNC), MetLife ( MET), Onyx Pharmaceuticals ( ONXX), Prudential ( PRU), Transocean ( RIG), Weight Watchers International ( WTW) and Williams ( WMB).

Nokia ( NOK) shares were rising more than 10% Wednesday on talk that Chinese PC maker Lenovo may be interested in the struggling Finnish cellphone maker, Reuters reported.

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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