US stocks advanced in early trade on Wednesday with S&P 500 Index strengthening 1.63 points, or 0.13 percent, to trade at 1,260.14 at 10:00 a.m. EDT. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 24.86 points, or 0.21 percent, to trade at 11,600. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.10 percent.

Light trading volume is expected to be continue amid severe winter weather in the Northeast U.S and due to lack of major economic data. So far in this year the Dow advanced 11 percent, S&P 500 gained nearly 13 percent and the Nasdaq advanced more than 17 percent.

Shares of Allstate Corp declined 0.28 percent and Bank of America (BOA) advanced 0.45 percent after Allstate Corp sued Countrywide Financial Corp with a $700 million investment in residential mortgage-backed securities.

BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc. shares surged 6.45 percent on the news that the company may face a hostile takeover attempt from private-equity firm Leonard Green & Partners in the next few weeks if it does not put itself up for auction.

On Tuesday, US stocks finished narrowly mixed in very light holiday trading as the bitter cold weather in the eastern U.S. helped to push up energy stocks. Traders seemed to shrug off an unexpected dip in consumer confidence and more bad news on housing prices.

The euro advanced 0.18 percent to 1.3139 against the dollar and the yen gained 0.55 percent against the greenback.

Crude oil futures declined 0.22 percent to $91.29/barrel and gold futures gained 0.14 percent.

European stock markets are currently trading mixed with FTSE100 down by 11.25 points, DAX30 up by 28.96 points and CAC 40 up by 40.77 points.