10 things you need to know before the opening bell
1. The pound is surging to a 7-month high after Boris Johnson secured a Brexit deal with the EU. The pound shot up as much as 1.3% in morning trading in London.
2. China says hopes to reach phased trade pact with US as early as possible. A phased agreement would help restore market confidence and reduce uncertainty, Gao Feng, spokesman at the ministry, told reporters, adding that both sides were maintaining close communication.3. Goldman Sachs has been in talks with authorities in Malaysia to drop criminal charges against three subsidiaries of the bank in connection with the 1MDB scandal. Malaysian and US investigators say about $4.5 billion was misappropriated from now-defunct state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad.
4. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday that Germany would make relations with China a key issue during its 2020 EU presidency. Germany takes over the rotating six-month presidency in the second half of 2020.
5. Nestle posted slightly slower sales growth in Q3. The food group announced a new share buyback program of up to 20 billion Swiss francs ($20.13 billion) and changes to its waters business on Thursday after organic sales growth slowed slightly to 3.7% in the third quarter, from 3.9% in the previous quarter.
6. Billionaire Ken Fisher, who compared winning clients to getting in 'a girl's pants,' lost $1 billion in client funds. "Boston will not invest in companies led by people who treat women like commodities," Mayor Martin Walsh said in a statement Wednesday.
7. US tariffs threaten livelihoods of Spain's olive-farming families. A double whammy of US import tariffs kicking in on Friday and a recent steep drop in global olive oil prices is threatening the subsistence of thousands of families in southern Spain
8. Stocks are set to rise on Thursday. US futures underlying the S&P 500 (+0.4%) and the Nasdaq (+0.4%) are rising. In Europe, stocks are rising with the DAX up (+0.5%) as was the Euro Stoxx 50 (+0.3%). In Asia, stocks closed mixed with the Nikkei (-0.1%) and the Shanghai Composite (-0.1%) falling marginally but the Hang Seng (+0.7%) rallied.9. There are lots of earnings out today. Verizon, Morgan Stanley, and Phillip Morris all release results.
10. There's a stack of data on the docket today. Initial jobless claims and industrial production are the highlights.