Investing.com – U.S. stocks are seen edging higher Wednesday, helped by strong earnings from tech giants Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) as well more progress towards an additional stimulus package.
Google parent Alphabet topped sales expectations for its advertising and Cloud businesses, helped in part by the pandemic, resulting in its stock climbing over 7% premarket. Online retailer Amazon reported quarterly sales above $100 billion for the first time, but its stock move was tempered by the news that highly respected CEO Jeff Bezos was stepping down from the role.
Helping the positive tone was the news that Democrats have taken the first steps in Congress toward advancing President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus aid plan without Republican support, opening a debate on a fiscal 2021 budget resolution.
The idea of this Covid relief plan has helped buoy stock markets over the last couple of months, but it had run into opposition from Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill over the size and nature of the spending proposed.
Meanwhile, the recent retail-driven market turmoil which resulted in sharp gains for heavily-shorted stocks like GameStop (NYSE:GME), appears to have fizzled out amid trading restrictions from major brokers.
More companies are scheduled to release results Wednesday, with earnings due from the likes of drugmakers AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV), Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB) and GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) before the opening bell, as well as chipmaker Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), e-commerce giant eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) and online payments company PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) after the market close.
The main economic data release will be the January private payroll number for January, at 8:15 AM ET (1315 GMT). This is expected to show gains of 49,000, an improvement from the drop of 123,000 in December, and will be seen as a precursor to Friday’s nonfarm payrolls.
Oil prices traded slightly higher Wednesday, pushing to around the highest levels in a year after an unexpected fall in U.S. crude oil supply.
The American Petroleum Institute reported late Tuesday crude inventories fell by 4.3 million barrels last week, compared with expectations for a small build. Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration is due later in the day.
U.S. crude futures traded 0.7% higher at $55.12 a barrel, after hitting a one-year high of $55.26 on Tuesday. The international benchmark Brent contract rose 0.3% to $57.97, after earlier climbing to $58.05, its highest in more than 11 months.