Morning Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks are poised to rise Wednesday after the House of Representatives late Tuesday passed legislation averting the so-called fiscal cliff and sent it to President Obama for his signature.

Passage of the deal prevents automatic tax hikes for most Americans and a host of spending cuts.

European stocks jumped Wednesday on word of the budget deal, while Asian shares ended the trading session with solid gains. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 2.9% to finish at 23,311.89, its highest finish since June 1, 2011. Japanese markets were closed Wednesday and will reopen on Friday.

The economic calendar in the U.S. Wednesday includes the ISM Manufacturing Index at 10 a.m. EST and construction spending at 10 a.m.

U.S. stocks on Monday surged following comments from Obama that a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff was close.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 1.28%, or 166 points, to 13,104. The blue-chip index gained 7.26% in 2012.

The S&P 500 surged 1.69%, or 24 points, to 1426. The S&P gained 13.41% in 2012. The Nasdaq spiked 2%, or 59 points, to close the year above 3,000 points at 3019. The tech-heavy index gained 15.91% in 2012.

Markets were closed Tuesday for the New Year's Day holiday.

Live Nation Entertainment's ( LYV) Irving Azoff plans to resign as chairman of the concert promoter and will sell 1.7 million Live Nation shares to Liberty Media ( LMCA) .

Automakers, including Ford ( F) and General Motors ( GM), are expected to post December car sales on Wednesday.

High seas and strong winds prevented crews from boarding a Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.A) drilling ship to check for any damage after the large vessel went aground off an uninhabited island in the Gulf of Alaska, The Associated Press reported.

Intel's ( INTC) effort to develop an Internet-based TV service and associated hardware is taking longer than expected, people familiar with the company's plans told The Wall Street Journal, in part due to delays in reaching content agreements with media companies.

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