LONDON Dec 12 U.S. stock index futures pointed
to a fractionally higher open on Wall Street on Wednesday, with
futures for the S&P 500, the Dow Jones and the
Nasdaq 100 rising by 0.1 to 0.2 percent.
* The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to announce a fresh
round of bond buying on Wednesday as part of its efforts to
support a fragile economic recovery threatened by political
wrangling over the government's budget.
* Negotiations to avert the "fiscal cliff" ahead of a
year-end deadline intensified as President Barack Obama and U.S.
House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner spoke by phone on
Tuesday after exchanging new proposals.
* India's government announced an inquiry into lobbying
practices by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on Wednesday after a
report that the giant retailer had pressed U.S. lawmakers to
help gain access to foreign markets.
* Costco Wholesale Corp posted a 30 percent rise in
quarterly profit, beating expectations, as the largest U.S.
warehouse club chain saw sales rise and got a lift from higher
* Chesapeake Energy Corp on Tuesday agreed to sell
most of its remaining natural gas processing and gathering
assets for $2.16 billion as it continues to sell assets to pay
down its heavy debt load.
* Sprint Nextel Corp is in talks with Intel Corp
and Comcast Corp to buy out their stakes in
the U.S. wireless provider Clearwire Corp, two people
familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
* European shares steadied in early trade on Wednesday,
keeping alive their sharp three-week rally as investors bet the
Fed would deliver on stimulus.
* The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 78.56
points, or 0.60 percent, at 13,248.44 on Tuesday. The Standard &
Poor's 500 Index was up 9.29 points, or 0.65 percent, at
1,427.84 - its highest since November elections. The Nasdaq
Composite Index was up 35.34 points, or 1.18 percent, at