NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Here are 10 things you should know for Wednesday, Dec. 17:
1. -- U.S. stock futures were rising Wednesday ahead of a statement from the Federal Reserve on monetary policy and as oil prices moved lower again.
Stocks in Europe fell while Asian shares ended the session mixed.
Crude oil fell 1.4% to $55.17 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Wednesday includes the Consumer Price Index for November at 8:30 a.m. EST, and the rates decision from the Federal Open Market Committee during the afternoon. The FOMC, the policy-making arm of the Fed, concludes its two-day meeting on Wednesday and the central bank could remove its longstanding pledge to keep interest rates at near zero for a "considerable time."
3. -- U.S. stocks on Tuesday couldn't make up their minds with equities wiping out gains in the final market hour after a whiplash session that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average trading in a 360-point range.
The S&P 500 closed 0.84% lower, the Dow fell 0.64% and the Nasdaq tumbled 1.2%.
4. -- General Electric (GE) said 2015 earnings could be lower than analysts' forecasts as its oil and gas operations are hurt by the decline in oil prices.
GE said industrial profit for next year will be $1.10 to $1.20 a share. Add that to expected earnings of 60 cents a share from GE's finance unit, and the company expects 2015 operating earnings of $1.70 to $1.80 a share.
Analysts are expecting earnings next year from GE of $1.79 a share.
5. -- Shipping giant FedEx (FDX) is forecast to report fiscal second-quarter earnings on Wednesday of $2.22 a share on revenue of $11.99 billion.
6. -- China's Baidu (BIDU) , the search engine company, confirmed Wednesday it will invest in ride-booking company Uber but didn't disclose the size of its investment.
Reports have speculated that Baidu's investment in Uber could be up to $600 million.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said its collaboration with Baidu "marks a milestone for Uber. We're currently in 250 cities around the world, and the Asia-Pacific region has been a key area of growth for us."
7. -- Software maker Oracle (ORCL) is expected by Wall Street to report fiscal second-quarter profit of 68 cents a share on sales of $9.51 billion.
8. -- Clothing manufacturer American Apparel (APP) fired founder Dov Charney and named long-time fashion executive Paula Schneider to be its next CEO.
American Apparel's board voted to remove Charney as CEO in June, citing allegations of misconduct. He was put under suspension, but still served as a consultant to the company. American Apparel said Tuesday it has terminated his position "for cause" after an internal investigation.
Charney has been the subject of lawsuits that allege he had inappropriate sexual conduct with female employees.
9. -- Darden Restaurants (DRI) , the owner of Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse, said adjusted earnings for its fiscal second quarter were 28 cents a share, topping analysts' expectations by a penny.
Revenue rose 5% to $1.56 billion. Olive Garden saw revenue from its restaurants open at least a year rose 0.5%.
10. -- Guardians of Peace, the group that claimed to have hacked Sony Pictures, posted a threat against moviegoers, forcing the cancellation of the New York premiere of "The Interview," a comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco as TV journalists involved in a CIA plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
-- Written by Joseph Woelfel
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