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July 9 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

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Here are 10 things you should know for Wednesday, July 9:

1. -- U.S. stock futures were rising slightly on Wednesday as investors awaited the minutes from the Federal Reserve's last policy meeting.

European stocks declined for a fourth day while Asian stocks finished Wednesday's session lower.

2. -- The  economic calendar  in the U.S. on Wednesday includes minutes of the June 18 meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee at 2 p.m. EDT.

3. -- U.S. stocks  on Tuesday fell with little market-moving news to sustain the rally that swept benchmark indices to record highs last week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average  fell 0.69% to 16,906.62. The  S&P 500  retreated 0.7% to 1,963.71. The  Nasdaq declined 1.4% to 4,391.46.

4. -- Citigroup and the Justice Department are close to a deal for the bank to pay about $7 billion to settle allegations it sold shoddy mortgages in the run-up to the financial crisis, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

A settlement could be announced as early as next week.

The two sides, which had been far apart just weeks ago, are ironing out details of an agreement that would avert a federal lawsuit over the mortgages, the people told the Journal.

The potential settlement marks a reversal from mid-June, when the Justice Department had warned that it planned to file a lawsuit unless Citigroup significantly raised its settlement offer. Citigroup had been offering about $4 billion, while the government was seeking close to $10 billion, according to the Journal.

5. -- offered authors caught up in its dispute with Hachette Book Group  100% of the proceeds from their digital-book sales .

Hachette rejected the proposal but said it would negotiate for a contract with Amazon that would benefit both parties, Sophie Cottrell, a spokeswoman for Hachette, said in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg on Tuesday.

"We invite Amazon to withdraw the sanctions they have unilaterally imposed," she said, adding that the publisher seeks to resolve the dispute soon "to the benefit of the writers."

Amazon and Hachette have been in tense negotiations over a new e-book contract.

6.-- Aluminum giant Alcoa posted second-quarter earnings on Tuesday that topped analysts' estimates.

Alcoa said earnings excluding items in the quarter were 18 cents a share; analysts were expecting 12 cents a share. Second-quarter revenue was $5.84 billion, which beat analysts' estimates of $5.66 billion.

The company reported strong results in its engineered-products business, which makes parts for industrial customers.

Alcoa reiterated its forecast for aluminum global demand growth of 7% for 2014.

7. -- A Beijing court ruled against Apple by upholding the validity of a patent held by a Chinese company, clearing the way for the Chinese company to continue its own case against Apple for infringing intellectual property rights, Reuters reported.