U.S. stock futures were pointing to more records on Wall Street at Thursday's open after Chinese officials said that Washington and Beijing would begin to remove existing tariffs in steps. However, both sides have yet to cement last month's tentative "phase one" trade deal or pick a place for President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping to sign it. Such a meeting could be postponed until December. Nonetheless, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq would all set intraday record highs if Thursday's premarket gains were to hold when trading begins at 9:30 a.m. ET.
Dow component Disney reports fiscal fourth-quarter earnings after the bell on Thursday. Credit Suisse expects the media giant to deliver a profit of 88 cents per share, compared to $1.48 in the same period in 2018. The expected year-over-year decline in earnings, as CNBC's Maggie Fitzgerald points out, is mainly due to increased spending ahead of the launch of the new Disney+ streaming service later this month. Credit Suisse analyst Douglas Mitchelson said investors will be hoping for some "pre-sale color for the less-than-one-week-out Disney+ launch."
Bernie Sanders would revamp North American trade relationships and expand protections for workers as part of a sweeping new immigration plan. The Democratic presidential candidate's proposal released Thursday morning provides more details about immigration planks he's previously outlined. The Vermont senator said he would seek to expand protections for young undocumented migrants and their parents, temporarily halt deportations, decriminalize border crossings and "break up" the ICE, Customs, and Border Protection agencies.
Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren announces she would be willing to meet with Bill Gates, hours after the Microsoft co-founder stopped short of expressing support for Warren's proposed 6% tax on billionaires to help cover costs for her "Medicare for All" proposal. Gates told CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin on Wednesday that he wasn't sure if the senator would be open to sitting down with him. Gates said he has paid over $10 billion in taxes, more than anyone else, and would be happy to pay $20 billion. "When you say I should pay $100 billion, OK, then I'm starting to do a little bit of math about what I have left over," he said, jokingly.
The Democratic-controlled House is set to hold its first public hearings in the Trump impeachment inquiry next week. In a tweet Wednesday, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said diplomats Bill Taylor and George Kent will testify in an open hearing this coming Wednesday. Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch will appear a week from Friday. The committee is looking into whether Trump abused his power to influence the 2020 election by urging the Ukrainian government to investigate his political rival Joe Biden and the former vice president's son Hunter.