Stock futures search for direction as traders wait for stimulus

U.S. stocks rose Tuesday on optimism that Congress would reach an agreement on a spending package to support American households and businesses through the pandemic

U.S. equity futures gave up overnight gains to trade mixed ahead of the Wednesday session on Wall Street.

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The earnings docket for Wednesday morning includes results from Verizon, Abbott Labs, AutoNation and Biogen.

Asian shares mostly rose Wednesday, cheered by the gains on Wall Street as investors welcomed a batch of solid earnings reports from U.S. companies.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.3%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 0.8% and China's Shanghai Composite slipped 0.1%.

In Europe, London's FTSE fell 1.1%, Germany's DAX declined 0.7% and France's CAC was off  0.9%.

Technology, communications and financial stocks powered most of the gains on Wall Street. Traders bid up shares in several companies that reported quarterly results that were better than analysts expected, including Procter & Gamble, Regions Financial, Albertsons and Travelers.

Others didn't fare as well. Netflix shares fell in after-hours trading after the streaming service reported third-quarter earnings and a tally of new subscribers that fell short of analysts' expectations.

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U.S. stocks rose Tuesday on optimism that Congress would reach an agreement on a spending package to support American households and businesses through the coronavirus pandemic.

The S&P 500 rose 0.5% to 3,443.12. The Dow Jones Industrial Average of big blue chips gained 0.4% to 28,308.79. The Nasdaq composite snapped a five-day losing streak, rising 0.3% to 11,516.49.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES29961.62+370.35+1.25%
SP500S&P 5003622.12+44.53+1.24%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX11989.21917+108.59+0.91%

Google parent Alphabet rose 1.4% after the Justice Department sued the company for antitrust violations. The lawsuit could be an opening salvo ahead of other major government antitrust actions, given ongoing federal probes of other major tech companies, including Apple, Amazon and Facebook.

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Procter & Gamble rose 0.4% after the consumer products company reported solid fiscal first-quarter results and raised its earnings outlook. Insurer the Travelers Cos. gained 5.6% after its latest earnings topped Wall Street's estimates, thanks partly to lower-than-expected losses on claims.

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In energy trading, U.S. benchmark crude fell 58 cents to $41.12 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Tuesday, it gained 63 cents to $41.70 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 51 cents to $42.65 a barrel.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.