Updated from 5:53 a.m. EST

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Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, Jan. 25:

1. -- U.S. stock futures were rising Wednesday and European stocks booked solid gains as corporate earnings in the U.S. drove Wall Street higher.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average posted a triple-digit gain on Tuesday for the first time in three weeks, putting the index within 90 points of the 20,000 milestone. The Dow rose 0.57%, or 112 points, to close at 19,912 on Tuesday. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed at fresh records after rising 0.66% and 0.86%, respectively.

Positive earnings from the likes of DuPont ( DD - Get Report)  and Alibaba ( BABA - Get Report)  were the main drivers of gains for Wall Street on Tuesday. 

Stocks in Asia rose on Wednesday as Japan's Nikkei 225 rebounded firmly, assisted by a weaker yen and solid export data.

The economic calendar in the U.S. on Wednesday includes the FHFA House Price Index for November at 9 a.m. and Crude Inventories for the week ended Jan. 21, at 10:30 a.m.

2. -- United Technologies (UTX - Get Report) posted fourth-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.56 a share, matching analysts' estimates. Revenue was $14.66 billion, falling shy of forecasts of $14.71 billion.

Earnings are also expected Wednesday from AT&T  (T - Get Report) , Citrix Systems  (CTXS - Get Report) , eBay  (EBAY - Get Report) , Qualcomm  (QCOM - Get Report) , Western Digital  (WDC - Get Report) , Boeing  (BA - Get Report)  , Freeport-McMoRan (FCX - Get Report)  and Hess  (HES - Get Report) .

3. -- Cisco Systems (CSCO - Get Report) said it plans to acquire AppDynamics, a privately held application intelligence software company, for about $3.7 billion.

San Francisco-based AppDynamics was expected to go public, with the pricing of its initial public offering set for Wednesday evening.

Cisco agreed to pay about $26 a share, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing a person familiar with the matter, which was well above the company's original price range of $10 to $12 a share.

Cisco's price nearly doubles the $1.9 billion valuation that AppDynamics' investors placed on the company in late 2015, according to the Journal.

"Applications have become the lifeblood of a company's success. Keeping those apps running and performing well has never been more important. Unfortunately, that job has only gotten harder, as IT departments and developers struggle with a tangled web of disconnected, complex data that's hard to understand," said Rowan Trollope, a Cisco senior vice president and general manager of the company's Internet of Things and Applications Business Group. "The combination of Cisco and AppDynamics will allow us to provide end-to-end visibility and intelligence from the network through to the application; which, combined with security and scale, will help IT to drive a new level of business results."

The acquisition is expected to close in Cisco's third fiscal quarter of 2017.

Cisco is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells CSCO? Learn more now.

4. -- Fourth-quarter earnings at Novartis (NVS - Get Report) missed analysts' expectations but the pharmaceutical company, based in Basel, Switzerland, launched a $5 billion share buyback and said it may sell its Alcon eye care unit.

Novartis said core net income for the three months ended in December was $2.66 billion, marginally lower forecasts of $2.7 billion.

The company said it was considering a "range" of options to boost shareholder value, including the sale of the Alcon division which generated about $5.8 billion in sales last year. 

"Novartis is considering options for the Alcon division," the company said. "The review will explore all options, ranging from retaining the business to separation via a capital markets transaction (e.g. IPO or spin-off), in order to determine how to best maximize value for our shareholders. The review will be conducted during the course of 2017 and in a manner such that Alcon division associates can fully focus on the unit's return to growth."

5. -- Alcoa  (AA - Get Report) reported a fourth-quarter loss of $125 million, or 68 cents a share, weighed down by restructuring charges following the company's split in November into two independent entities. But shares of the company, a producer of bauxite, alumina, and aluminum products, were rising nearly 4% in premarket trading on Wednesday after Alcoa forecast solid 4% growth in global aluminum demand in 2017. 

Excluding special items, New York-based Alcoa said it earned $26 million in the fourth quarter, or 14 cents a share. Analysts had expected the company to earn 20 cents a share, according to FactSet. 

Alcoa generated revenue of $2.5 billion, up 9% sequentially, which came in above a $2.385 billion consensus estimate.