1. -- U.S. stock futures turned slightly lower Wednesday and European stocks maintained gains as investors tried to look past global political tensions and instead focused to first-quarter earnings season, which will kick off in earnest on Thursday with reports from JPMorgan Chase (JPM) , Citigroup (C) and Wells Fargo (WFC) .
Geopolitical uncertainty has made for choppy trading over the past several sessions, particularly on worries over how Donald Trump will handle increasing tensions on the Korean Peninsula, and in Syria. That uncertainty led stocks lower on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 falling 0.14%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declining 0.03%, and the Nasdaq slipping 0.24%.
The economic calendar in the U.S. on Wednesday includes Import and Export Prices for March at 8:30 a.m. EDT, and weekly Oil Inventories at 10:30 a.m.
Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan is scheduled to participate in a Q&A at the Cornerstone Credit Union League Annual Meeting in Fort Worth, Texas, at 10 a.m.
Delta Air Lines (DAL) reported first-quarter adjusted earnings of 77 cents a share, topping forecasts by 2 cents. Delta said traffic in the first quarter rose 0.5% and capacity dipped 0.5%.
The stock gained 1.6% in premarket trading on Wednesday.
2. -- United Airlines (UAL) CEO Oscar Munoz offered a stronger apology after a 69-year-old passenger was pulled from his seat and dragged down the aisle, and said the airline would review its policies.
The incident, caught on cellphone video which has gone viral, has become a public-relations nightmare for United. On Monday, Munoz apologized for the incident but also blamed the passenger, David Dao, a doctor from Elizabethtown, Ky., for not obeying when airline employees asked him to leave. Munoz called the man "disruptive and belligerent."
On Tuesday, however, Munoz apologized again, this time calling the incident a "truly horrific event," adding that, "No one should ever be mistreated this way." He promised a review of airline policies by April 30 and vowed to "fix what's broken so this never happens again." The CEO said United would reassess policies for seeking volunteers to give up their seats, for handling oversold situations and for partnering with airport authorities and local law enforcement.
Shares of United Continental, the parent of United Airlines, fell 1.1% on Tuesday and were declining another 0.5% in premarket trading on Wednesday as investors wondered whether the criticism will hurt the airline as the busy summer travel season nears.
3. -- Rachel Whetstone, Uber's head of communications, will leave the ride-hailing company, as it too works through its own public relations crises.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick announced Whetstone's departure in a memo to staff on Tuesday.
Whetstone is leaving Uber following the departure in recent weeks of two other high-level executives.
Uber came under fire at the end of January, when Kalanick agreed to join Donald Trump's business council. #DeleteUber led 200,000 users to delete the app in protest after Uber failed to participate in a New York City Taxi Worker's Alliance protest against the immigration ban at the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. The company also has faced allegations of sexual harassment as well as the release of a video of Kalanick arguing with a driver about driver compensation. When President Jeff Jones resigned, he cited citing "multiple controversies."
(What will move markets this quarter and how should investors position themselves ahead of time? Jim Cramer sat down with four of TheStreet's top columnists recently to get their views. Click here to listen to his latest Trading Strategies roundtable with them and read their advice for stocks, bonds, forex and gold).