The day ahead: Thursday
* Wal-Mart is expected to report higher third-quarter earnings, but Wall Street is focused on U.S. sales, which the retailer has stopped reporting on a monthly basis.
* Walt Disney is expected to report earnings of 41 cents per share and further emphasize a recovery in advertising sales seen at the cable networks of competitors Time Warner and Viacom.
* Anheuser-Busch InBev is braced to report a decline in consumption of its beers such as Budweiser, Stella Artois and Beck’s, weighing on profits in the first half.
* At the fourth day of the Reuters Health Summit being held in New York, we speak with FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty, and Schering-Plough CEO Fred Hassan.
* Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner arrives in Singapore for a meeting of finance ministers from the 21-nation Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.