U.S. equity markets bounced back from a sharp sell-off overnight as investors continued to fret about Greece and Spain.
By the close the Dow Jones had fallen 97 points to 12,835, while the NASDAQ eased 11 points to 2935.
In corporate news, GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) stock declined after it said it is taking its unsolicited $13 a share offer for Human Genome Sciences (NASDAQ:HGSI) directly to shareholders in a hostile bid.
Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS) said late Tuesday that fiscal second-quarter earnings rose 21 percent on improved earnings at its ESPN and ABC television networks and theme parks.
The entertainment giant, which scored a recent hit with its "The Avengers" movie, said for the period ended March 31, it earned $1.14 billion, or 63 cents per share, compared with a profit of $942 million, or 49 cents, a year ago. Excluding items, Disney said it would have earned 58 cents per share.
Analysts polled by FactSet Research were expecting a profit of 55 cents per share on revenue of $9.56 billion.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ:GMCR) saw its shares edge lower, after the company announced late Tuesday that founder and former CEO Robert Stiller had been stripped of his title as chairman, for selling more than $125 million worth of Green Mountain stock earlier this week in a margin call.
Global internet company AOL (NYSE:AOL) reported a jump in first quarter profit after boosting advertising revenues.
Net income rose to $21 million from last year’s figure of $4.7 million, a surge of almost 350 per cent. Strong growth in international and third-party network advertising increased total advertising revenues by 5 per cent to $330 million.
Bloomingdale’s owner Macy’s (NYSE:M) beat forecasts in its first quarter as its local merchandising strategy and strong online growth boosted revenues. Earnings for the thirteen weeks to the end of April rose by 43 per cent to 43 cents, from 30 cents, well ahead of consensus market forecasts of 40 cents.
Revenue in the quarter climbed 4.3 percent to $6.14 billion, with same store or like-for-like sales 4.4 per cent ahead.
After the closing bell Wednesday, reports are due out from News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) and Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO).
News Corp, which has been embroiled in the phone hacking scandal in Britain, is expected to post earnings of 31 cents, while network equipment maker Cisco is anticipated to report a profit of 47 cents.
The world's biggest video games publisher Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) is also due to post earnings after the close.
Staying with video games, shares in publisher Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ:TTWO) fell Wednesday after it announced that it would delay the release of a new game from its popular "Bioshock" franchise.
Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY) agreed to buy Cost Plus (NASDAQ:CPWM) for almost $495 million U.S., or $22 U.S. per share.
On the economic front, U.S. wholesale inventories rose less than expected in March, held back by the biggest drop in petroleum stocks in nearly two years.
Inventories in March rose 0.3% to $480.44 billion, following an unrevised 0.9% jump the previous month, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. A 5.9% drop in petroleum stocks, which retraced the previous month's gain, was the biggest decline since May 2010.
Economists had expected a 0.6% gain in overall inventories.
On the NYMEX, oil futures for June delivery fell 76 cents to $96.25 a barrel while gold futures tumbled $12.10 to $1,592.70 an
European stocks ended mixed after an early sell-off. The FTSE 100 closed down 0.4%, the CAC 40 dropped 0.3% and the DAX closed 0.5% higher.