) -- U.S. stock futures jumped and European shares were rising after the European Central Bank said Wednesday it was lending €489 billion ($639 billion) for three years to 523 European banks in an effort to help the banks weather the two-year eurozone debt crisis.

Demand for the funding far exceeded market expectations of around €300 billion, according to

The Associated Press

. It was the biggest ECB infusion of credit into the banking system in the euro's 13-year history.

Prior to the news of the ECB funding, The Nikkei 225 stock index in Japan gained 1.5% to 8,459.98, and South Korea's Kospi jumped 3.1%.

In the U.S. on Tuesday,

stocks posted big gains

on the back of positive German economic data, a successful Spanish debt auction and better-than-expected housing data in the U.S.


Dow Jones Industrial Average

gained 337 points, or 2.9%, to 12,103. The index dropped 100 points on Monday. The

S&P 500

on Tuesday rose 36 points, or 3%, to 1241, and the


finished ahead by 81 points, or 3.2%, to 2604.

On the economic calendar in the U.S. Wednesday are existing home sales for November at 10 a.m. EST, the weekly Mortgage Bankers Association index of application activity at 7 a.m., and weekly crude inventories at 7:30 a.m.


(ORCL) - Get Report


fiscal second-quarter earnings below analysts' expectations

, the first time in a decade the software company has fallen short of Wall Street views.

Oracle posted non-GAAP earnings of $2.8 billion, or 54 cents a share, on revenue of $8.8 billion, up 2% from a year earlier.

Analysts were expecting profit of 57 cents a share in the quarter on revenue of $9.23 billion.

Oracle posted a 10% decline in hardware systems revenue and flat services revenue in the quarter.

The House rejected on Tuesday a Senate proposal to extend a payroll tax cut for two months, and called on the upper chamber of Congress to consider a year-long plan.

But it doesn't appear Congress will stay in Washington over the holiday season to clear the impasse.

Payroll taxes for 160 million workers will rise, and cuts to Medicare doctors' fees and a lapse in jobless benefits are due Jan. 1. If legislation isn't passed by New Year's Day, payroll taxes will go up by almost $20 a week for a worker making a $50,000 salary, and almost 2 million people could lose unemployment benefits.

The U.S. government and Saudi Arabia are finalizing a deal on the $29.4 billion sale of 84


(BA) - Get Report

F-15s, and may announce the deal soon,


reported, citing one source familiar with the discussions.

Boeing also remains competitive in several other big-ticket military competitions in South Korea, Brazil, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and possibly Denmark, company officials say,



-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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Joseph Woelfel

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