June 18 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

Here are 10 things you should know for Wednesday, June 18:

1. -- U.S. stock futures were rising slightly as investors awaited an update on the U.S. economy later Wednesday from the Federal Reserve.

European stocks rose for a second day. Asian stocks ended the session mostly lower, except for Japan where stocks rose 0.9%

2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Wednesday includes the rates decision from the Federal Open Market Committee at 2 p.m. EDT.

3. -- U.S. stocks on Tuesday rose, though continuing tensions in Iraq and cautiousness as the Federal Reserve began its two-day policy meeting capped any big gains.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.16% to 16,808.49, the S&P 500 added 0.22% to 1941.99, and the Nasdaq rose 0.37% to 4,337.23. 

4. -- General Electric  (GE) is considering the sale of its train-signaling business to France's Alstom in an effort to raise the appeal of its $17 billion offer for Alstom's energy business and to counter a bid from Germany's Siemens (SI) and Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Selling the signaling operations would help GE meet French President Francois Hollande's demand that the U.S. conglomerate help Alstom beef up its train business as a condition for blessing GE's purchase of one of France's industrial icons, according to the Journal.

5. -- Amazon.com (AMZN) is expected on Wednesday to unveil its first smartphone, a device that could sport a 3-D screen, at a launch event in Seattle.

It was reported on Tuesday that AT&T (T) would be the exclusive carrier for Amazon's new smartphone.

6. -- Shipping giant FedEx (FDX) is expected by analysts on Wednesday to report fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of $2.36 a share on revenue of $11.66 billion.

7. -- Lawmakers are likely to express skepticism about some findings of a General Motors' (GM) investigation into its mishandled recall of 2.6 million small cars when CEO Mary Barra appears before Congress on Wednesday.

According to a congressional aide, members will have more questions about how much Barra knew about a problem with the ignition switches in the cars when she was GM product development chief, The Associated Press reported.

8. -- Adobe Systems' (ADBE) second-quarter earnings and revenue topped analysts' expectations.

Adobe reported earnings of 37 cents a share, beating analysts' expectations of 30 cents, Revenue in the quarter rose 5.9% from the year-earlier quarter to $1.07 billion; analysts were looking for revenue of $1.03 billion.

Second-quarter revenue from Adobe Marketing Cloud jumped 23% from a year earlier to $283 million. 

9. -- Shares of Micros Systems  (MCRS) rose almost 15% on Tuesday following reports Oracle (ORCL) was in talks to buy the point-of-sale technology vendor for $5 billion.

10. -- Red Hat  (JBL), that maker of open source software, is forecast by Wall Street to report fiscal first-quarter earnings of 33 cents a share on sales of $414 million.

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-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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