Updated from 6:59 a.m.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Here are 10 things you should know for Tuesday, Aug. 18:
1. -- U.S. stock futures were sinking Tuesday as a drop in Chinese stocks concerned investors. Data and earnings reports on construction-related companies come in and Wal-Mart (WMT - Get Report) reported earnings that missed expectations.
European stocks fell on Tuesday, taking their cue from Asia, where Chinese indices led the region lower. In London, the FTSE 100 was down 0.52%. In Frankfurt, the DAX slipped 0.18%, and in Paris the CAC 40 dropped 0.32%. The Athens benchmark was down 1.4% as the government eased capital controls.
Asian stocks ended the day predominantly in the red, with all benchmarks in Hong Kong, mainland China and Australia posting sharp losses. The Shanghai Composite index plunged 6.16%. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng closed down 1.13%. In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 ended the day 0.32% lower and the Topix shuffled down 0.04%.
2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Tuesday includes housing starts data at 8:30 a.m. and the comparable-store sales Redbook at 8:55 a.m.
4. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to cut allowed methane emissions from natural gas and oil production by 40% to 45% from 2012 levels over the next 10 years. The move is part of President Obama's climate change agenda. The EPA has also recently required power plants to cut 32% of their emissions from 2005 levels by 2030.
Methane emissions from fracking are common, and the new regulations are designed to force companies to capture the greenhouse gas. Oil and gas companies may benefit to some degree eventually, as methane is the primary component in natural gas.
Oil prices fell Tuesday as oversupply and the end of the summer driving season weighed on expectations for oil prices. West Texas Intermediate crude oil, the measure for U.S. oil, was in the $41 range. Brent crude oil was above $48 a barrel. Those prices are near six-month lows.
5. -- BB&T (BBT - Get Report), the North Carolina-based bank, is buying National Penn Bancshares for $1.8 billion -- 70% of that will be in BB&T stock and the remainder in cash. The move will allow BB&T to expand into the mid-Atlantic region.
In premarket trading, BB&T was down 4.2%.
6. -- Coffee purveyors Starbucks (SBUX - Get Report) and Panera Bread (PNRA) both said they would remove artificial ingredients from their pumpkin spice lattes, and are adding pumpkin as an ingredient. The companies are responding to some outraged coverage of "pumpkin spice" last year, when consumers began to realize that many pumpkin-flavored foods in fact contained no pumpkin. The shift echoes the larger trend in food toward natural and organic products.
The fall-themed pumpkin drinks normally appear in early September. Panera's will be ready Sept. 9, the company said.
Panera stock was sinking by 0.27% and Starbucks stock was down by 0.24% in premarket trading.
7. -- Megaretailer Wal-Mart (WMT - Get Report) reported earnings that missed analyst expectations. The company posted earnings of $1.08 per share on revenue of $120.2 billion for the quarter. In the year-ago quarter, Wal-Mart earned $1.21 a share on $120.12 billion in revenue. This quarter analysts expected $1.12 in earnings and $119.7 billion in revenue. The company also lowered its guidance for earnings per share to $4.40 to $4.70 for the year, down from $4.70 to $5.05.
In premarket trading, Wal-Mart stock was falling by 2.8%.
8. -- The Internal Revenue Service said that a much larger number of taxpayers had their personal information exposed to hackers than was initially reported. About 300,000 people were victims of the hack, the IRS now says. In May, the IRS had said that about 114,000 people had their information hacked via an online form that allowed hackers to enter security answers and download tax return forms. The hackers then filed for about $50 million in fraudulent tax refunds.
The IRS is notifying the new batch of taxpayers about the breach now.
9. -- It's been a long slide downward for hip clothing retailer American Apparel (APP), which is seeing its stock fall 12.9% in premarket trading after a rise of 7.3% on Monday. The company said it might go out of business and face bankruptcy. Sales have fallen off by 17%, losses have widened to 11 cents a share, or $19.4 million for the quarter, and cash is in short supply.
On Monday, hedge fund Standard General supplied a loan of $90 million to replace a dwindling line of credit of $50 million from Capital One Financial (COF - Get Report). The company owes $239 million in debt and has $6.9 million in cash on hand.
American Apparel has been in trouble since it pushed out its founder, Dov Charney, last year on repeated charges of sexual misconduct. The changes have roiled the company's stock, which is down 83% in the past year.
10. -- Earnings reports for Tuesday include Blue Bird (BLBD - Get Report), Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS - Get Report), Hain Celestial (HAIN - Get Report), Home Depot (HD - Get Report), and Wal-Mart (WMT - Get Report) before the opening bell, and DeVry Education (DV), Sina (SINA - Get Report), and Weibo (WB - Get Report) after the closing bell.