5 Things You Should Know Before the Stock Market Opens
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were rising Wednesday after profits at Apple(AAPL) , the iPhone, IPod and iPad maker, nearly doubled.
European stocks were higher but pared gains following data that showed the U.K. economy slipped back into recession. Asian shares ended mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 1% to close at 9,561.01.
Wednesday brings the outcome of the Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting. A change on rates isn't expected, but the Federal Open Market Committee is expected to stick to its promise to keep interest rates at historic lows until at least late 2014. The Fed will announce its decision on rates at 12:30 p.m. EDT.
Also expected Wednesday are durable-goods orders for March at 8:30 a.m., and weekly crude inventories data at 10:30 a.m.
Apple's(AAPL) fiscal second-quarter profit soared 93%, blowing past Wall Street's expectations.
Apple earned $12.30 a share in the quarter on revenue of $39.2 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of $10.02 a share on revenue of $36.69 billion. About $22.7 billion of revenue was from sales of the iPhone.
Apple said it sold 35.1 million iPhones, 11.8 million iPads, 4 million Macs and 7.7 million iPods in the quarter.
Apple forecast third-quarter earnings of $8.68 a share on revenue of $34 billion; analysts currently expect profit of $9.93 a share on revenue of $37.45 billion.
The Treasury Department's Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, contradicted Wednesday a previous Treasury statement that the bank bailout program was profitable.
In a quarterly report to Congress, Christy Romero, the special inspector general, said: "It is a widely held misconception that TARP will make a profit. The most recent cost estimate for TARP is a loss of $60 billion," adding that "taxpayers are still owed $118.5 billion (including $14 billion written off or otherwise lost)."