U.S. stock futures edged higher Wednesday as investors awaited progress on stimulus talks, fresh guidance from the Federal Reserve and key economic data.

Futures tied to the S&P 500 ticked almost 0.2% higher, signaling that the broad market gauge may climb for a second day after the New York opening bell. Nasdaq-100 futures also gained 0.2%.

Signs of progress toward a fresh fiscal-stimulus package buoyed sentiment on Tuesday, allowing the S&P 500 to break a four-day losing streak. Top congressional leaders signaled they were inching closer to striking a deal after a day of meetings. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said he was optimistic, fueling bets that lawmakers will craft the new aid package before the holidays and the expiration of several key aid provisions.

Hopes for the new stimulus package have become the latest catalyst for a market rally that has sent the S&P 500 index up over 14% this year, despite the economic setback triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is just another excuse for those that missed the rally, or that are bullish anyway to buy into it,” said Luca Paolini, chief strategist at Pictet Asset Management. “We know that [a deal is] coming, the signals are pretty clear,” he added.


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