What to watch

Dow Jones stocks headline profit releases

- Adam Shell @adamshell USA TODAY

With not a single economic data point set for release Wednesday, Wall Street’s eyes will be turned to profit reports from three brand-name U.S. companies from the iconic blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average.

Investors will get results from soft-drink giant Coca-Cola, aerospace player Boeing and financial services firm American Express.

Like the big-picture earnings season, expectatio­ns aren’t exactly sky high for any of the blue chip companies.

Earnings per share vs. the same quarter a year ago are expected to dip slightly for both Coca-Cola and American Express, according to earnings tracker Thomson Reuters.

Wall Street analysts are forecastin­g Coca-Cola to earn 50 cents a share in the just-ended third quarter, down 5.6% from the 53 cents earned in the third quarter of 2014.

American Express is seen earning $1.31 per share, or 6.4% below the $1.40 it earned a year ago.

Expectatio­ns are higher for airplane maker Boeing. Analysts are expecting Boeing to earn $2.22 per share, or 3.6% above last year’s $2.14, Thomson Reuters data show.

The Dow, which finished virtually unchanged Tuesday after a big plunge in IBM shares due to its downbeat full-year outlook was offset by gains in Dow components Travelers, United Technologi­es and Verizon, will probably need some solid earnings beats Wednesday to keep chugging higher.

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