US futures higher post-debate with earnings, ECB in focus

MARKETS & EARNINGS

U.S. stock futures were higher this morning, as the market was giving the edge to Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump after last night's third and final presidential debate. Wall Street closed higher Wednesday. (CNBC)

The European Central Bank issues its post-meeting interest rate decision and policy statement this morning, followed by a news conference from ECB President Mario Draghi at 8:30 a.m. ET. (CNBC)

Earnings also continue this morning, with Dow components Travelers (TRV) and Verizon (VZ) out with quarterly results. Travelers beat on profit and revenue. (CNBC)

American Express (AXP), another Dow stock, reported late Wednesday earnings and revenue that beat expectations. The credit card giant also raised its earnings outlook for the year. (CNBC)

U.S. oil prices this morning were retreating from Wednesday's 2.6 percent push to 15-month highs of $51.60 per barrel, due to a decline in American inventories and an expectation of an OPEC-led production cut. (Reuters)


DECISION 2016

The debate was considered Donald Trump's most substantive performance, but he also continued to question the voting process, declining to promise to "absolutely accept" the results of the election. (CNBC)

In another standout moment, while Hillary Clinton took a jab at Trump over whether he would try to avoid paying higher taxes on the wealthy, he interrupted, calling the Democratic nominee a "nasty woman." (CNBC)

While accusing Russia of cyberattacks and saying Vladimir Putin prefers Trump for president, Clinton said the GOP nominee would be a "puppet president," if he's elected. (CNBC)

As rumors swirl about a Trump-backed television network, the candidate livestreamed his own debate coverage on his Facebook page. Commentary was provided by retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. (CNBC)

President Barack Obama heads to the election battleground state of Florida today to give his prescription for fixing Obamacare, the health care law that Clinton vows to improve. (Reuters)


IN THE NEWS TODAY

Tesla (TSLA) said all of its new vehicles will be equipped with hardware that enables fully autonomous driving, with the electric automaker planning to have a vehicle drive itself from Los Angeles to New York by the end of 2017. (CNBC)

Wells Fargo (WFC) is the subject of a criminal investigation by California's attorney general, centering on whether the creation of new accounts for unsuspecting customers by the bank's sales staff involved identity theft. (AP)

Netflix (NFLX) and 21st Century Fox (FOXA) are in a court battle over alleged employee poaching. Fox accuses Netflix of illegally hiring two employees who were under contract at Fox, but Netflix filed a complaint questioning the legality of those contracts. (WSJ)

Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google unit reportedly reached a deal with CBS (CBS) to carry the network on a soon to be launched online TV service, which is likely to premiere in early 2017. (WSJ)


BY THE NUMBERS

New York Fed President Bill Dudley, who's out and about again today, said last night the central bank would likely raise interest rates this year. The New York Fed president always votes on the policymaking panel.

The Labor Department issues its weekly report on initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET, while at the same time the Philadelphia Fed releases its monthly index of regional business activity for October.

The National Association of Realtors is out with existing home sales for September at 10 a.m. ET. The Conference Board issues its index of leading economic indicators, also at 10 a.m. ET.

Dow component Microsoft (MSFT) is among the companies set to release quarterly numbers after today's closing bell, along with Boston Beer (SAM), E-Trade (ETFC), PayPal (PYPL), and Schlumberger (SLB), among others.



STOCKS TO WATCH

Mattel (MAT) reported adjusted quarterly profit of 70 cents per share, one cent below estimates, with sales slightly above forecasts. The toy maker did see a strong rebound in Barbie-related sales as well as improvement in its American Girl business.

EBay (EBAY) came in one cent above estimates with quarterly profit of 45 cents per share, with revenue slightly above forecasts, but the online retailer gave a current quarter forecast that disappointed some investors.

Caesars Entertainment's (CZR) deal with creditors to bring the casino operator's operating unit out of bankruptcy has been brought under question by a lawyer for the government's bankruptcy watchdog.

Tableau Software (DATA) were relatively flat in the premarket, after surging Wednesday on reports that it's explored a sale in recent months. The Wall Street Journal reported the business software company worked on a sale this past summer before the effort failed.

WATERCOOLER

Nintendo is set to raise the curtain on its upcoming NX console this morning with a video preview trailer, with fans hoping to get answers about when NX is slated for release. (CNET)