* U.S. stock futures pointed to a weaker open for equities
on Wall Street on Wednesday, with futures for the S&P 500 , for the Dow Jones and for the Nasdaq 100
down 0.5 to 0.6 percent.
* The Mortgage Bankers Association releases at 1200 GMT its
Weekly Mortgage Market Index for the week ended Nov. 4, versus
the prior week. The mortgage market index read 665.6 and the
refinancing index was 3,539.3 in the previous week.
* Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke gives welcome and
opening remarks at 1430 GMT before the Small Business and
Entrepreneurship During an Economic Recovery conference.
* The Commerce Department releases at 1500 GMT wholesale
inventories for September. Economists forecast inventories to
rise 0.5 percent versus a 0.4 percent increase in August.
* Cisco , the maker of Internet networking gear,
will report first-quarter financial results. The market expects
a profit of 39 cents per share from 42 cents one year ago.
* Ally Financial Inc , the U.S. auto and mortgage
lender, is considering putting its Residential Capital LLC
(ResCap) mortgage-lending unit into bankruptcy protection, the
Wall Street Journal reported on its website.
* Shares in Adobe Systems and Blue Nile
fell 4.7 percent and 17 percent respectively in late trading on
Tuesday after the companies announced results. SINA Corp
reversed losses to gain 1.1 percent, while
Activision Blizzard was up 4.1 percent after the bell.
* China's annual inflation rate fell sharply in October to
5.5 percent in a further pullback from July's three-year peak,
giving Beijing more room to fine-tune policy to help an economy
feeling the chill of a global slowdown.
* Allstate Corp's board of directors has approved a
new $1 billion share repurchase program.
* European stocks gained 0.5 percent on Wednesday,
as investors cheered Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's
pledge to step down, hoping his departure will speed up reforms
to fix the country's finances and ease the euro zone debt
* A plan for former European Central Bank vice-president
Lucas Papademos to lead a Greek government of national unity has
run into trouble, party sources said on Wednesday, prolonging
political hiatus as the country heads towards bankruptcy.
* Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary
Fund, warned Europe's debt crisis risked plunging the global
economy into a "lost decade" and said it was up to rich nations
to shoulder the burden of restoring growth and confidence.
* U.S. stocks closed higher on Tuesday for a second day in a
row as late-day news about Europe sparked an afternoon rally
that erased early weakness.
* The Dow Jones industrial average shot up 101.79
points, or 0.84 percent, to 12,170.18. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index gained 14.80 points, or 1.17 percent, to 1,275.92.
The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 32.24 points, or
1.20 percent, to 2,727.49.