Stock futures pointed to a higher open on Thursday as investors cheered a last-minute U.K.-EU deal on Brexit. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures indicated a gain of about 60 points at the open. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson called it a "great deal," while European Commission President Jean-Clause Juncker said the agreement was "fair and balanced." However, the deal must now be approved by the U.K. Parliament. Stock futures also got a boost as S&P 500 companies kept reporting strong quarterly results.
Netflix shares surged nearly 8% in the premarket on Thursday on the back of a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit. The video streamer reported earnings per share of $1.47, topping a Refinitiv estimate of $1.04. International paid subscribers increased by 6.26 million, better than a FactSet estimate of 6.05 million. Domestic paid subscribers were a huge disappointment, however. Netflix added 517,000 paid subscribers in the third quarter, while analysts polled by FactSet expected an increase of 802,000.
China's Ministry of Commerce emphasized the removal of U.S. tariffs before the two countries can sign a trade deal. "Both sides' ultimate goal for the negotiations is to end the trade war, cancel all additional tariffs," ministry spokesman Gao Feng said, according to a CNBC translation. "This is good for China, good for the U.S. and good for the world." President Donald Trump said last week that both sides had reached a "very substantial" phase one deal. However, multiple reports this week said China wanted more talks to hash out the details of that first phase.
The Federal Reserve could pause in its latest rate-cutting cycle, and depending on economic data and developments in trade talks, that pause could happen at, or more likely, after the Oct. 29-30 meeting. In the Fed's view, it has delivered three rounds of stimulus: First, it reversed course from planned rate hikes last year; second, it stopped reducing its balance sheet and began increasing it in step with economic growth; and third, it cut rates twice by a quarter point. There may yet be a third cut, but the Fed will want to see what effects the current stimulus will have before continuing.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., who chaired the House Oversight Committee, died early Thursday. He was 68. As the Oversight Committee's chairman, Cummings led multiple investigations into President Donald Trump's government dealings, including some related to Trump's family members working in the White House.