The fiscal cliff deadline has come and gone, and investors are breathing a sigh of relief.
After rushing to complete a deal, the House approved a bill late Tuesday that blunts most of the expected impact of the fiscal cliff and reduces fears of recession.
U.S. stock futures were up sharply, suggesting investors are encouraged by the progress. But additional -- and perhaps more intractable -- challenges remain. Congress must soon raise the debt ceiling, and figure out plans for postponed spending cuts and the federal budget.
All major global markets were closed Tuesday for the New Year's holiday -- but many overseas markets posted strong gains Wednesday after news of the fiscal deal broke.
European markets were broadly higher in early trading, posting gains of more than 1%. Asian markets ended higher. Australia's ASX All Ordinaries index added 1.3%. South Korea's KOSPI gained 1.7% and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong advanced 1.9%.
Japan's Nikkei and the Shanghai Composite remain closed in an extended New Year's holiday.
Fear & Greed Index
Investors will also get some economic data to consider after the opening bell. At 10:00 a.m. ET, the Institute for Supply Management will release its monthly manufacturing index.