NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Here are 10 things you should know for Wednesday, Sept. 18:

1. -- U.S. stock futures were rising following modest gains across the globe as investors await an announcement from the Federal Reserve on its plans to taper economic stimulus.

European stocks were higher. Asian shares finished the session mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 1.4%.

2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. Wednesday includes housing starts and building permits for August at 8:30 a.m. EDT, and the rates decision from the Federal Open Market Committee in the afternoon.

3. -- U.S. stocks on Tuesday rose as investors await guidance from the Fed about the future of its sweeping economic stimulus program.

The S&P 500 rose 0.42% to close at 1,704.76 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.29% to finish at 15,539.63. The Nasdaq gained 0.75% to 3,745.70.

4. -- Walgreen ( WAG) is set to become one of the largest employers to make sweeping changes to company-backed health programs. The drugstore giant is expected to disclose on Wednesday a plan to provide payments to eligible employees for the subsidized purchase of insurance starting in 2014, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The plan would affect roughly 160,000 employees, and will require them to shop for coverage on a private health-insurance marketplace.

Walgreen joins a list of companies making changes to their benefits. IBM and Time Warner said recently they will move thousands of retirees from their own company-administered plans to private exchanges.

5. -- Starbucks ( SBUX - Get Report) said guns are no longer welcome in its cafes, though the coffee chain stopped short of an outright ban on firearms.

The request is being made in part because more people have been bringing guns into Starbucks over the last six months, prompting confusion and dismay among some patrons and employees, CEO Howard Schultz told Reuters in an interview.

In an open letter to customers issued late Tuesday, Schultz said: "Our stores exist to give every customer a safe and comfortable respite from the concerns of daily life."

Starbucks' long-standing policy had been to default to local gun laws, including "open carry" regulations that allow people to bring guns into stores, Reuters noted.

Schultz said he hopes people will honor the request not to bring in guns but said the company will nevertheless serve those who do.

"We will not ask you to leave," he said.

Starbucks has almost 7,000 company-operated U.S. stores.

6. -- Adobe Systems ( ADBE - Get Report), the maker of creative-suite products like Photoshop and InDesign, said fiscal third-quarter earnings on an adjusted basis fell to 32 cents a share from 58 cents a share a year earlier.

Revenue fell 8% in the quarter to $995.1 million.

Wall Street expected Adobe to report earnings of 34 cents a share on revenue of $1.01 billion.

Adobe has been shifting its business to a subscription-based model. The company said subscription revenue rose 73% to $299.4 million. The company said its Creative Cloud service gained 331,000 paying subscribers during the quarter, surpassing 1 million.

7. -- FedEx ( FDX - Get Report) is expected by Wall Street on Wednesday to report fiscal first-quarter earnings of $1.50 a share on revenue of $10.97 billion.

8. -- Software maker Oracle ( ORCL - Get Report) is expected by analysts to post fiscal first-quarter earnings of 56 cents a share on revenue of $8.48 billion.

9. -- A report by the 9to5Mac blog said Apple's ( AAPL - Get Report) iPhone 5s could be in short supply.

Customers in China and Hong Kong could reserve the iPhone 5s starting Tuesday. But just minutes after the phone became available, most models and colors sold out across the country, the blog reported.

The rate at which the 5s sold out in China doesn't bode well for the rest of the world, as it suggests that overall supply in general of the 5s is low, according to 9to5Mac. Apple begins selling the iPhone 5s in retail stores on Friday.

10. -- Employees from US Airways ( LCC) and American Airlines ( AAMRQ) are in Washington, lobbying members of Congress to support a planned merger of the two carriers, despite opposition from the Justice Department.

The employees, including leaders of unions at the two carriers, will hold individual meetings with members of Congress on Wednesday, and they will gather for a noon rally near the Capitol building, The Dallas Morning News reported.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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