Stock futures move higher following final Trump-Biden debate

Market trading boards are seen at the Australian Securities Exchange in Sydney, Friday, February 9, 2018. ( AAP Image/Ben Rushton) NO ARCHIVING

Trump: We have to open our country

President Trump and Joe Biden give their stance on reopening the country amid the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. equity futures are pointing to a higher open following the final presidential debate.

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The major futures indexes suggest a rise of 0.2% when the Friday Wall Street session begins.

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Futures traded between gains and losses after President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden faced off in their second and final debate before the Nov. 3 election.

In their debate late Thursday, Trump and Biden largely avoided the disorganized rancor of their first face-off in a more substantive exchange highlighting their vastly different approaches to many challenges facing the nation.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 picked up 0.2%, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 0.2% and China's Shanghai Composite index fell 0.9%.

In Europe, London's FTSE added 0.7%, Germany's DAX gained 0.3% and France's CAC rose 0.7%.

A hectic week for 3Q earnings wraps up Friday morning on a quiet note, with Dow member American Express among only a handful of names reporting ahead of the opening bell.

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On the economic front, research firm IHS Markit’s flash manufacturing and services Purchasing Managers Indexes for October will be released. Manufacturing is expected to edge slightly higher from September, with services holding steady. Recall that readings above 50 point to an expanding sector:

On Wall Street, stocks shook off a wobbly start on Thursday to end higher, with the S&P 500 up 0.5%.

Several earnings reports from big U.S. companies came in better than analysts had expected, which helped put investors in a buying mood. Also, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said progress was being made on talks to deliver more stimulus to the U.S. economy.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES28363.66+152.84+0.54%
SP500S&P 5003453.49+17.93+0.52%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX11506.00579+21.31+0.19%

The S&P 500 rose 17.93 points to 3,453.49. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.5% to 28,363.66. The Nasdaq composite added 0.2% to 11,506.01.

A report on Thursday morning showed that 787,000 workers applied for unemployment benefits last week.

While that’s still an incredibly high number relative to history, it’s down from 842,000 the prior week. It also was not nearly as bad as economists were expecting.

Another report showed that sales of previously occupied homes accelerated even more last month than economists expected.

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AT&T strengthened by 5.8% after it reported revenue for the latest quarter that beat analysts’ expectations. Coca-Cola gained 1.4%, and Tesla rose 0.7% after both reported earnings that topped Wall Street’s forecasts.

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U.S. crude oil fell 23 cents to $40.41 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It added 61 cents to $40.64 per barrel on Thursday. Brent crude, the international standard, gave up 18 cents, to $42.28 per barrel.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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