By Caitlin Ostroff 

Here's what we are watching as markets kick off Wednesday.

-- U.S. stock futures ticked higher as investors awaited progress on stimulus talks, fresh guidance from the Federal Reserve and key economic data.

Futures tied to the S&P 500 ticked 0.3% higher, signalling that the broad market gauge may climb for a second day after the New York opening bell. Nasdaq-100 futures rose 0.3%.

Read our full market wrap here.

What's Coming Up

-- U.S. retail sales for November, due out at 8:30 a.m. ET, are expected to fall 0.3% from the prior month.

-- Surveys of purchasing managers, which will be released starting at 9:45 a.m., are likely to point to a continued expansion in the U.S., albeit at a slower pace than in recent months.

-- The Federal Reserve will issue its latest policy statement and economic projections at about 2 p.m.

Market Movers to Watch

-- American Outdoor Brands Inc. climbed more than 11% premarket after the provider of hunting equipment swung to a profit for its latest quarter as sales increased with more people, according to the company, looking to spend time on outdoors activities.

-- Shares in Tilray Inc. rose almost 20% in premarket trading after Bloomberg reported that it and fellow Canadian cannabis company Aphria Inc. are in advanced talks to merge. If the two merge, the combined company could be largest marijuana producer in Canada. Aphria's shares gained 12%.

-- Good Times Restaurants shares gained more than 24% premarket after fourth-quarter financial results showed the company swinging to a profit from the year-ago period.

-- BioCardia shares gained 5.5% premarket. The developer of cardiovascular medicines climbed almost 50% Tuesday, closing at $6.70, after the company said it entered into definitive agreements with investors for the purchase and sale of 1.8 million shares of common stock.

Market Fact

-- The Euro Stoxx Banks index is down more than 20% this year, compared with a 6% fall in the Euro Stoxx 50 blue-chip index. The European Central Bank said Tuesday that lenders can restart limited dividend payments next year following a nine-month ban.

Chart of the Day

BP has bought a controlling stake in the largest U.S. producer of carbon offsets, doubling down on a bet that preserving forests will be key to companies meeting their carbon-reduction goals.

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 16, 2020 07:13 ET (12:13 GMT)

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