LONDON, Jan 9 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed
to a higher open on Wall Street on Wednesday, with futures for
the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones up 0.2 percent,
while Nasdaq 100 futures had gained 0.3. percent by 0847
* European shares traded higher on Wednesday as an upbeat
start to the U.S. earnings season revived appetite for equities
after a two-day decline.
* The first U.S. company to report quarterly results,
aluminium producer Alcoa, offered a positive outlook for
2013, albeit with a caveat relating to U.S. budget talks. Shares
in the group, which beat market expectations in terms of
revenue, rose 1.3 percent in after-hours trade.
* Microsoft Corp has sold 60 million licenses and
upgrades for its new Windows 8 operating system in the 10 weeks
since its launch, one of the top executives of the company's
Windows unit said at the Consumer Electronics Show on Tuesday.
* Apple Inc is working on a lower-end iPhone, the
Wall Street Journal reported, citing people briefed on the
matter. The report comes as Apple's Chief Executive Tim Cook
meets with partners and government officials in China.
* Constellation Brands, the world's largest branded
wine company, is expected to post third-quarter earnings per
share of $0.55, a 5 cent increase compared to the same period
last year. The company may also provide an update on its
plan to gain full control of the distribution of Corona Extra
beer in the United States.
* Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Morgan Stanley
are among a group of banks expected to agree as soon as this
week to a $1.5 billion settlement with federal regulators over
botched foreclosure claims, two sources familiar with the matter
said on Tuesday.
* American International Group Inc, the insurer
rescued by the U.S. government in 2008, said on Tuesday it is
considering joining a lawsuit that claims the bailout terms were
unfair, drawing angry condemnation from lawmakers.
* The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 55.44
points, or 0.41 percent, to 13,328.85 on Tuesday. The Standard &
Poor's 500 Index fell 4.74 points, or 0.32 percent, to
1,457.15. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 7.01 points,
or 0.23 percent, to 3,091.81.