2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. Wednesday includes the ADP Employment Change report for February at 8:15 a.m. EST, factory orders for January at 10 a.m., and the release of the Federal Reserve's Beige Book for March at 2 p.m.
3. -- U.S. stocks on Tuesday surged, with the Dow gaining 125.95 points, or 0.89%, to finish at 14,253.77, an all-time closing high. The S&P 500 finished up 14.59 points, or 0.96%, at 1,539.79. The Nasdaq was higher by 42.1 points, or 1.32%, at 3,224.13.
4. -- Verizon ( VZ) is looking to acquire 100% of Verizon Wireless, its joint venture with Vodafone ( VOD), Bloomberg reported. Vodafone's 45% stake in the venture could fetch $115 billion, according to analysts, Bloomberg said. Verizon is eager to take over the unit this year, said people familiar with the situation. Vodafone and Verizon also discussed a full merger of the two companies as recently as December, said two of the people familiar with the talks, Bloomberg reported. But negotiations broke down over disagreements on leadership and the headquarters location, making a buyout or partial sale of Vodafone's stake in Verizon Wireless a likelier outcome, the people told Bloomberg.
5. -- Members of J.C. Penney's ( JCP) board will consider selling the company or replacing Ron Johnson as CEO if a deep drop in sales can't be reversed this year, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal. The group includes activist hedge-fund manager William Ackman, who as the retailer's largest shareholder was instrumental in establishing Johnson as CEO, the newspaper said.
6. -- Staples ( SPLS) is expected by Wall Street to report earnings of 45 cents a share in the fourth quarter on revenue of $6.72 billion. Staples' conference call is at 8 a.m. EST and it's likely the topic of the recently announced merger of rivals OfficeMax ( OMX) and Office Depot ( ODP) will be mentioned.
7. -- Apple ( AAPL) has held talks with Beats Electronics LLC, the audio technology firm co-founded by hip-hop producer Dr Dre and music mogul Jimmy Iovine, on a potential partnership involving Beats' planned music-streaming service, three people familiar with the situation told Reuters.
8. -- American Eagle Outfitters ( AEO) is expected by analysts Wednesday to post fourth-quarter earnings of 56 cents a share on revenue of $1.12 billion.
9. -- Smith & Wesson ( SWHC), the firearm maker, posted fourth-quarter profit Tuesday of $14.6 million, or 22 cents a share, more than tripling from year-earlier profit of $4.4 million, or 7 cents a share. Revenue jumped 39% to $136 million as consumers bought guns while U.S. lawmakers debated whether to impose a ban on some weapons.
10. -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez died Tuesday. Chavez, a controversial figure and fierce critic of the United States, recently returned to Venezuela after receiving treatment for cancer in Cuba. The 58-year old had served as the country's president since 1999.
-- Written by Joseph Woelfel >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Joseph Woelfel >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.