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.
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.
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.
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 Report) reports 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%.
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.