Jan. 22 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know (Update 1)

Here are 10 things you should know for Wednesday, Jan. 22:  

1.-- U.S. stock futures were pointing to a lower open for Wall Street on Wednesday as European stocks were rising and Asian shares finished the session with gains. Shares of IBM (IBM) were trading down 3.4% to $182 in premarket trading Wednesday.

The Shanghai Composite rose 2.2% after China's central bank on Tuesday promised extra liquidity in the financial system. Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 0.2%.  

2.-- The Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity rose 2.6% for the week ended Jan.  3.

3.-- U.S. stocks on Tuesday closed mixed as disappointing earnings reports from Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Travelers (TRV) gave investors yet another reason to believe that equities may be overbought.

The S&P 500 rose 0.22% to close at 1,842.79, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.31% to 16,408.34. The Nasdaq gained 0.62% to finish at 4,223.54.

4.-- Mohamed El-Erian, CEO of Pacific Investment Management Company, or Pimco, will resign in March, in an abrupt change of leadership at the world's biggest bond fund manager. The resignation, made at a management meeting on Tuesday, was disclosed in press statement from Allianz, Pimco's parent company. 

Allianz said current Pimco Chief Operating Officer Douglas Hodge was appointed to take over as CEO of the asset manager upon El-Erian's resignation in March. The firm's chief investment officer and founder, William H. Gross, will continue with his current duties, Allianz said.

El-Erian's resignation will shake up the management ranks of Pimco at a time when investors have begun to withdraw money from some of the firm's stalwart bond funds amid a rise in interest rates as the Federal Reserve works to rein in some of its easing measures. 

Pimco manages roughly $2 trillion in assets, mostly in bond mutual funds.

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