Stock futures move higher following final Trump-Biden debate

Investors will also get the latest reports on manufacturing and services

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 0.3% 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.

Shares of Gilead are rising 7% in the premarket after the company's antiviral drug remdesivir was given the green light by the Food and Drug Administration as the first officially approved COVID-19 treatment.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 picked up 0.2%, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 0.5% and China's Shanghai Composite index fell 1%.

In Europe, London's FTSE added 1.5%, Germany's DAX gained 1% and France's CAC rose 1.4%.

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 AVERAGES29942.33-103.91-0.35%
SP500S&P 5003629.09-6.32-0.17%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX12060.722025+23.94+0.20%

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.

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 rose 22 cents to $40.86 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, added 28 cents, to $42.73 per barrel.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.