MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stock Futures Point Higher After U.K., EU Strike Tentative Brexit Deal

Date : 10/17/2019 @ 1:27PM
Source : Dow Jones News

MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stock Futures Point Higher After U.K., EU Strike Tentative Brexit Deal

By Chris Matthews and William Watts, MarketWatch

Netflix shares jump premarket after third-quarter results

Stock-index futures pointed to a higher start for Wall Street Thursday, getting a boost after U.K. and European Union negotiators agreed on a draft Brexit deal.

Read:EU and U.K. leaders say Brexit deal has been agreed (

The tentative pact, which was hailed by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson must still be approved by the U.K. parliament and other EU member states. Johnson has called for a U.K. parliamentary vote on Saturday.

What are major indexes doing?

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 74 points, or 0.3%, at 27,014, while S&P 500 futures advanced 9.85 points, or 0.3%, to 3,001. Nasdaq-100 futures gained 33.25 points, or 0.4%, to 7,981.75.

Stocks ended with small losses ( in a range-bound session on Wednesday. The Dow lost 22.82 points, or 0.1%, to close at 27,001.98, while the S&P 500 gave up 5.99 points, or 0.2%, to end at 2,989.69. The Nasdaq Composite finished at 8,124.18, off 24.52 points, or 0.3%.

What's driving the market?

The Brexit headlines sent the British pound soaring and also lifted European stocks (, though analysts cautioned that the agreement could still be derailed. Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, a key ally of U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party, said it remained opposed to the draft agreement.

"It remains to be seen whether the reaction is short-lived as the politicians go toe-to-toe again at the weekend, but in the meantime the very possibility of an agreed outcome to the painful Brexit saga has resulted in a relief rally, both financial and psychological," said Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor.

Meanwhile, U.S. stocks have reacted positively overall to the start of third-quarter earnings reporting season.

"Even though it is very early in the Q3 earnings reporting period, investors have been encouraged by the better-than-expected results for the large diversified banks and selected health care companies," said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA, in a note.

That enthusiasm was offset Wednesday by weaker-than-expected September retail sales numbers, while uncertainty around U.S.-China trade talks continues to cast a cloud over the market. Overall, the potential for elevated volatility is expected to remain a concern for investors since October has recorded nearly 40% higher volatility than the other 11 months since World War 2, Stovall said, noting CFRA still expects to see share prices end the year higher on an improvement in earnings per share expectations.

On the trade front, Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman U.S. and Chinese negotiators are still working out the text of a so-called "phase 1" trade agreement that led to the U.S. postponing a tariff increase that had been set for Tuesday in exchange for promises by the Chinese to increase agricultural purchases. The White House said that the deal would involve agricultural purchases of between $40 to $50 billion annually, but Gao declined to confirm that number, according to Bloomberg (

The news follows a Wednesday pledge ( by Senator Jim Risch, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to take up a bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives that would require the State Department to annually review Hong Kong's autonomy from mainland China and potentially end Hong Kong's special status that shields it from tariffs, visa restrictions and other barriers imposed on the rest of China. China has threatened ( "strong countermeasures" if the bill becomes law.

Investors are also digesting a series of U.S. economic reports. The number of unemployed workers who applied for jobless benefits ( the second week of October rose slightly, but layoffs nationwide remained near a 50-year low and showed no sign of rising despite a slowdown in the U.S. economy.

U.S. new home construction fell 9% in September ( from the month before, declining to an annual rate of 1.26 million from a revised 1.39 million in August. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected housing starts to reach 1.32 million. Permits for new housing construction were issued at a rate of 1.39 million homes, a 3% decline and below the 1.38 million consensus expectations.

An index of manufacturing activity ( in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey fell to 5.6 in September from 12.0 in August, below the 7.1 expected, according to Econoday.

Data on September industrial production and capacity utilization is set for 9:15 a.m.

Federal Reserve Board Gov. Michelle Bowman is scheduled to deliver remarks at an event in Chicago at 2 p.m. New York Fed President John Williams is due to deliver a speech and take part in a discussion in Manhattan at 4:20 p.m.

What companies are in focus?

Shares of Honeywell International Inc.(HON) may be in focus after its third-quarter results topped Wall Street forecasts ( Shares were up 1.1% in premarket action.

Morgan Stanley(MS) shares rose 3.8% before the start of trade Thursday after the investment bank reported third-quarter profits and sales that beat Wall Street expectations.

Philip Morris International Inc.(PM), also reported third-quarter results Thursday (, announcing that earnings fell less than analysts had anticipated, though revenue rose less than expected. The tobacco company's stock was unchanged in premarket action.

Shares of Netflix Inc.(NFLX) were 8.1% higher in premarket action after it reported third-quarter results ( late Wednesday. The streaming service said it added 6.77 million new paying subscribers in the quarter, with only 500,000 coming from the U.S.

Opinion:Netflix finally admits the obvious: Competition from Apple and Disney will hurt (

Shares of International Business Machine Inc.(IBM) were in focus after it reported less revenue than Wall Street expected ( after Wednesday's closing bell. The stock was off 6.1% in premarket activity.

Rail-based freight company CSX Corp. (CSX) also reported earnings after the close of trade Wednesday. Third-quarter profits unexpectedly rose and revenue fell in line with analyst forecasts. Shares were up 2.3% before the start of trade.

How are other markets trading?

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose about one basis point ( to 1.757%.

European stocks were on the rise following the news of a tentative Brexit deal, with the FTSE up 0.3% and the Stoxx Europe 600 advancing 0.1%.

In Asia overnight, stocks closed mostly higher, as the China CSI 300 rose 0.1% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index added 0.7%. Japan's Nikkei 225 edged 0.1% lower.

Crude oil prices were falling (, with West Texas Intermediate crude for November delivery down about 28 cents to $53.08 a barrel. Gold prices edged lower and the U.S. dollar fell 0.2%, according to the ICE U.S. dollar index .


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 17, 2019 09:12 ET (13:12 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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