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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- 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.

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


Facebook ( FB), 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.


Apple ( AAPL) 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.


AT&T ( T) 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 Boeing ( BA) 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), Avery Dennison ( AVY), Brinker International ( EAT), Bristol-Myers Squibb ( BMY), Corning ( GLW), Delta Air Lines ( DAL), Dr. Pepper Snapple Group ( DPS), Eli Lilly ( LLY), EMC Corp. ( EMC), General Dynamics ( GD), Hudson Bancorp ( HCBK), Jones Apparel ( JNY), Kimberly-Clark ( KMB), Lockheed Martin ( LMT), Motorola Solutions ( MSI), Nasdaq OMX Group ( NDAQ), Northrop Grumman ( NOC), Six Flags ( SIX), Tupperware ( TUP), US Airways ( LCC), and Wyndham Worldwide ( WYN).

Wednesday's late roster features Akamai Technologies ( AKAM), Cheesecake Factory ( CAKE), Citrix Systems ( CTXS), Fusion-io ( FIO), Skechers U.S.A. ( SKX), Tellabs ( TLAB), Tractor Supply ( TSCO), and Zynga ( ZNGA).


A union leader said Ford ( F) 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 reported.


-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.





-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.
Copyright 2012 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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