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.