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Pre-Market Primer: Stocks Fall on Taper Fears; Tesla Motors and Groupon Inc Earnings on Tap

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Can Tesla pull off another stellar quarter?

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Wall Street may be headed for another day of losses as Federal Reserve members struck a hawkish tone and global equities declined.

Stock futures were lower ahead of the opening bell. Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were down 0.36% at 15,418. Futures contracts on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) sank 0.35% to 1,688.00 and Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures fell 0.26% to 3,109.75.

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans spooked investors yesterday when he said he would "clearly not rule out" winding down asset purchases as soon as September. Evans is usually seen as a more dovish Fed chief. Today, the Philadelphia Fed's Charles Plosser and Cleveland's Sandra Pianalto will both deliver speeches.

Evans' comments battered global stocks. Japan's Nikkei (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) fell 4% as the dollar strengthened against the yen. Hong Kong's Hang Seng (INDEXHANGSENG:HSI) also dropped 1.53% on Wednesday.

Major european stock indices are also solidly in the red, led by Britain's FTSE (INDEXFTSE:UKX). Today, the Bank of England announced that it will tie interest rates to unemployment. It will keep rates low until the jobless rate falls below 7%, but this threshold is not set in stone. As the jobless rate is currently 7.8%, rates will remain at the record low of 0.5%.

After the closing bell today, several major firms will report quarterly earnings. Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is expected to report $0.19 per share in earnings with $387.9 million in revenue. The automaker launched in several European markets over the quarter, and those expenses could weigh on it.

Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) will also report after the bell. Analysts expect adjusted profit of $0.04 per share on $594 million in sales. Data from comScore, which tracks Web traffic, showed that Groupon's visitors increased by 7% over the quarter after declining in the first three months of the year. The company still lacks a permanent CEO after founder Andrew Mason was ousted.

Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) net profit increased by 87% in the second quarter, thanks in part to successful movies such as Man of Steel and The Hangover Part III. Adjusted earnings per share of $0.83 beat Wall Street's expectations.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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