Updated from 5:53 a.m. EST
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Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, Feb. 1:
1. -- U.S. stock futures were rising Wednesday and European shares traded higher following earnings from iPhone maker Apple (AAPL - Get Report) that topped forecasts and ahead of a decision on interest rates from the Federal Reserve.
The Federal Reserve's announcement on interest rates is expected at 2 p.m. EST. Economists don't anticipate the central bank will lift rates at the meeting but will be listening for indications as to when and how often the Fed might move on rates in 2017. The central bank last raised rates in December.
The economic calendar in the U.S. on Wednesday includes the ADP National Employment Report for January at 8:15 a.m., the ISM Manufacturing Index for January at 10 a.m., Construction Spending for December at 10 a.m., and Crude Inventories for the week ended Jan. 28, at 10:30 a.m.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average sold off for the second day in a row on Tuesday as divisions deepened on Capitol Hill and outcry over recent executive actions from the White House continued to drive uncertainty. The S&P 500 fell 0.09%, its fourth down day in a row, while the Nasdaq rose by 0.02%.
2. -- Apple shares were rising 3.4% in premarket trading on Wednesday after the tech giant posted fiscal first-quarter sales and earnings above Wall Street estimates on the back of strong sales of the iPhone 7.
Apple said revenue for the quarter ended in December rose 3% to $78.4 billion while earnings jumped 8% to $3.36 a share, beating forecasts of for sales of $77.4 billion and profit of $3.23 a share. That's overshadowing light March quarter sales guidance -- revenue of $51.5 billion to $53.5 billion, below a $53.6 billion consensus -- and led shares to rise 3% in after-hours trading to $125 (a new 52-week high).
The much-anticipated decision was announced at the White House on Tuesday evening and will most certainly be met with fierce opposition by Senate Democrats and liberal activist groups around the country. Gorsuch, who has served for more than a decade as a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, becomes the youngest person in 25 years to be nominated to the Supreme Court.
5. -- Activist investor Elliott Management late Tuesday nominated a slate of five dissident director candidates to the board of Arconic (ARNC - Get Report) soon after the aerospace component manufacturer reported fourth-quarter results that fell short of expectations.