Updated from 7:18 a.m. EDT.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Here are 10 things you should know for Wednesday, April 8:

1. -- U.S. stock futures were rising slightly as earnings season kicks off and as investors consider a huge oil merger.

European stocks are mixed Wednesday. Oil stocks led London markets higher as Anglo-Dutch oil producer Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A - Get Report) embarked on its biggest deal in over a decade.

2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Wednesday includes the Mortgage Bankers' Association mortgage application data at 7 a.m., the Energy Information Administration petroleum status report at 10:30 a.m., and the Federal Open Market Committee minutes at 2 p.m.

3. -- U.S. stocks on Tuesday closed in the red as investors prepped for earnings season.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA - Get Report) fell 0.03% to 17,875.42. The S&P 500 (SPY - Get Report) closed off 0.21% to 2,076.33. The Nasdaq (QQQ - Get Report) sank 0.14% to 4,910.23.

4. -- In an enormous merger, Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A - Get Report) will buy BG (BRGYY for £47 billion, or about $70 billion in cash and shares. The price is about a 50% premium to BG's closing price Tuesday. The companies announced the buyout in a statement.

The giant energy-sector deal was likely prompted by the precipitous fall in oil prices since June 2014. More mergers may now follow suit as companies in the sector seek to remain competitive.

In premarket trading, Shell's ADRs were falling by 1.2%, though BG stock was up 35% in London trading.

5. -- U.S. oil inventory data from the Energy Information Administration will be reported Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. Energy stockpiles at the U.S. have been repeatedly hitting all-time highs. Higher demand for oil over the summer would ease the glut.

The Energy Department already said Tuesday that it expects low summer gas prices -- the cheapest since 2009.

6. -- Aluminum manufacturer Alcoa (AA - Get Reportreports earnings Wednesday, unofficially kicking off earnings season. Analysts expect Alcoa to report earnings of 26 cents a share in the first quarter. The earnings report is expected after the market close.

In premarket trading, Alcoa stock was rising 0.9%.

Retail pharmacy Rite Aid (RAD - Get Report), home goods retailed Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY - Get Report) and dollar store Family Dollar (FDO also report earnings Wednesday.

7. -- Stock in Twitter (TWTR - Get Report), the short-form social network, jumped Tuesday on a report in Barron's that the company was hiring an outside advisor to defend against a takeover.

In the past, Google (GOOG - Get Report) (GOOGL - Get Report) and Facebook (FB - Get Report) have been rumored as possibly interested in taking over Twitter, but for now that appears to be just talk.

In premarket trading, Twitter was rising 1.5%.

8. -- Movie maker Lions Gate (LGF said that its largest shareholder is selling a fifth of its stake in the company. Chairman Mark Rachesky's MHR Fund Management is selling about $337 million worth of stock in the company.

In premarket trading, Lions Gate stock was down 3.65%.

9. -- Chinese tech valuations are stratospheric, with valuations averaging 220 times profits, Bloomberg Business is reporting. For reference, in 2000, U.S. tech companies had an average price-to-earnings ratio of 156.

Some investors are concerned that the high valuations in Chinese tech could lead to another dot-com meltdown. Although China requires companies on its larger exchanges to be profitable before being listed, the high valuations could be a problem. Still, the tech sector in China is proportionally smaller than it is in the U.S.

10. -- Fried-chicken restaurant Bojangles is planning an initial public offering. Bojangles is planning to trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker BOJA. The North Carolina-based company operates more than 600 stores. The company estimates that it can expand to around 3,500 U.S. restaurants.