This is what you need to know before the markets open.

Positive corporate earnings looked set to drive Wall Street higher as reports from DuPont (DD - Get Report) and Alibaba (BABA - Get Report) arrived.

Cisco Systems  (CSCO - Get Report)  is set to acquire Appdynamics. Cisco agreed to pay $3.7 billion days before the company's IPO.

Novartis  (NVS - Get Report) missed analysts' expectations, as the company considers selling its eyecare unit Alcon.

Alcoa (AA - Get Report) posts fourth-quarter losses of $125 million. The producer earned 6 cents a share lower than expected.