U.S. stock futures were steady Wednesday morning. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq finished higher, though off the highest levels Tuesday, after signs of progress in talks between Democrats and the White House over a new Covid-19 stimulus package with less than two weeks until the Nov. 3 election. The Dow and S&P 500 logged two-day winning streaks Tuesday, while the Nasdaq broke a five-session losing streak. All three benchmarks were over 4% away from their record highs. Dow stock Verizon reported mixed quarterly results, beating estimates on earnings but missing on revenue. Verizon also raised forward guidance. Tesla is scheduled to deliver quarterly results after Wednesday's closing bell.
Shares of Netflix dropped 5% in Wednesday's premarket, the morning after the streaming video giant reported lower-than-expected third-quarter earnings of $1.74 per share and lower-than-expected 2.2 million global paid net subscriber additions. However, revenue of $6.44 billion beat estimates.
Co-CEO Ted Sarandos said in an earnings video that most of Netflix's 2021 slate of television shows and movies won't be hindered by fallout from the coronavirus. Production, which came to a halt earlier this year due to the pandemic, is now "nearly fully operational," Sarandos added.
Shares of Snap surged about 24% in premarket trading after the parent company of Snapchat late Tuesday reported a surprise per-share profit in the third-quarter of a penny. Analysts had expected a loss of 5 cents per share. Revenue of $679 million and global daily active users of 249 million also exceeded estimates as more people signed up to use the service during the pandemic.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin plan to continue coronavirus stimulus talks Wednesday. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told CNBC on Tuesday that the two sides have been making "good progress" but "still have a ways to go" to strike an agreement. In a letter to House Democrats on Tuesday night, Pelosi said, "I remain hopeful that we can reach an agreement before the election. It will be safer, bigger, and better, and it will be retroactive."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is not involved in those talks, told fellow Republicans on Tuesday that he warned the White House not to divide the party by sealing a lopsided $2 trillion deal with Pelosi before Election Day. Senate Republicans, who want a much smaller relief package, are set to vote Wednesday on a $500 billion measure, which failed once before and was labeled by President Donald Trump as too small.
Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard issued a call Wednesday for more fiscal support from Congress, saying that additional stimulus is needed to address a recovery that so far has left out large parts of the economy. "Further targeted fiscal support will be needed alongside accommodative monetary policy to turn this K-shaped recovery into a broad-based and inclusive recovery," she added.
Trump holds a campaign rally in the battleground state of North Carolina on Wednesday evening at Gastonia Municipal Airport west of Charlotte, hours after a morning event in Asheville held by Democrat Joe Biden's running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris. Trump, who has been pressing his case for reelection in swing states, was in Pennsylvania on Tuesday. Biden has been preparing for Thursday's final presidential debate. Biden leads nationally and in the six swing states surveyed in the latest CNBC/Change Research poll.
Before leaving the White House on Tuesday, Trump taped part of an interview with "60 Minutes" that apparently ended acrimoniously. On Twitter, the president declared his interview with CBS' Lesley Stahl to be "FAKE and BIASED." Trump also threatened to release a White House edit of the interview before its scheduled run on television Sunday evening. Biden also recorded an interview with "60 Minutes."
With coronavirus cases surging in the U.S. and Europe and companies racing to develop treatments and vaccines, the U.K.'s top scientific advisor said this week that Covid-19 is likely to become as "endemic" as seasonal flu. Patrick Vallance warned British lawmakers that a vaccine won't get rid of the coronavirus, saying smallpox was the only disease "truly eradicated" by a vaccine. As of Wednesday morning, global infections were approaching 41 million, with nearly 8.3 million in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University data.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.