September 16 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Here are 10 things you should know for Tuesday, Sept. 16:

1. -- U.S. stock futures were falling Tuesday and some European indices were trading at two-week lows, as Federal Reserve policy makers prepared to begin a two-day meeting.

Asian stocks ended Tuesday's session with losses.

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2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Tuesday includes the Producer Price Index for August at 8:30 a.m. EDT. The Federal Open Market Committee begins a two-day meeting on Tuesday with an announcement on interest rates expected Wednesday afternoon. 

3. -- U.S. stocks on Monday finished mixed, as investors appeared cautious ahead of the Fed meeting. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average  rose 0.26% to 17,031.14. The S&P 500 ticked down 0.07% to 1,984.13. The Nasdaq fell 1.07% to 4,518.90.

4. -- Alibaba, the e-commerce giant, raised the price range of its initial public offering because of strong demand to $66 to $68 a share, up from its previously set range of $60 to $66 apiece.

At the top of the range, Alibaba and selling shareholders would now raise almost $22 billion.

The number of shares to be offered in the IPO remained at 368.1 million shares. 

5. -- Boeing (BA) appears positioned to beat out two smaller rivals for the bulk of a multibillion-dollar NASA contract to ferry astronauts to and from orbit, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing government and aerospace-industry officials.

If Boeing gets the space taxi award it would beat out Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, which had been considered a favorite because of its lower costs and nimbler approach, the Journal noted.

An announcement is expected as early as Tuesday.

6. -- Separately, a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin (LMT)  plans to announce on Wednesday that it will team up with Blue Origin, a company run by (AMZN)  founder Jeff Bezos, to develop a new rocket engine, a source familiar with the plans told Reuters.

Officials at Boeing and Lockheed declined comment. No comment was immediately available from Blue Origin or United Launch Alliance (ULA), the Boeing-Lockheed venture that uses Russian-built engines to power some of its rockets, Reuters reported.

7. -- Adobe Systems (ADBE) , the maker of business software, is expected by analysts on Tuesday to report fiscal third-quarter earnings of 26 cents a share on revenue of $1.02 billion.

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8. -- The death toll tied to faulty ignition switches in General Motors (GM) small cars has risen to 19, according to Kenneth Feinberg, a compensation expert who was hired by the automaker. The number is likely to go higher.

Feinberg said Monday that he has determined that 19 wrongful death claims are eligible for payments from GM. The company's estimate of deaths has stood at 13 for months, although the automaker acknowledged the possibility of a higher count.

Feinberg received 125 death claims due to the faulty switches in older-model small cars such as the Chevrolet Cobalt. The rest remain under review or require further documentation, he said in a report issued Monday.

"The public report is simply reporting on those eligible to date," Feinberg spokeswoman Camille Biros said in an email. "There will certainly be others."

GM has admitted knowing about the ignition switch problem for more than a decade. Yet it didn't begin recalling the switches in 2.6 million small cars until earlier this year. 

9. -- United Airlines (UAL)  reached a deal with the flight attendants' union to offer up to $100,000 in severance for workers who leave the company.

United spokeswoman Megan McCarthy told The Associated Press on Monday that the airline hopes that at least 2,100 of its 23,000 flight attendants will accept.

The airline said that it would recall about 1,450 furloughed flight attendants to fill jobs in places where United is understaffed.

10. -- Walmart's (WMT) chief spokesman, David Tovar, resigned after the company discovered he lied about his academic record, a person familiar with the situation told Bloomberg.

Tovar announced last week that he was leaving the job as vice president of communications. He previously said he earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Delaware in 1996. While conducting additional due-diligence screening, Walmart discovered he never received the degree, the person told Bloomberg.

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-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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Copyright 2014 Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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