Stocks futures were pointing towards a lower open until a Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesperson said that China and the U.S. have agreed to lift tariffs in phases as the two sides work towards a trade deal. The news has been received positively as it eases some of the anxiety from yesterday's reports that a "phase one" deal signing may be pushed back into December. While trade headlines continue to largely dictate the market's direction, earnings reporting continues as well with the latest highlights including a better than expected report from a major mobile phone chip supplier and blow-ups from a pair of Online Travel Agencies.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., initial jobless claims fell by a more than expected 8,000 to 211,000 in the week ended November 2.
TOP NEWS: Shares of Qualcomm (QCOM) have jumped 8% after the chipmaker's fourth quarter earnings per share beat consensus estimates and it gave better than expected Q1 guidance. In previewing the coming year, the company said its "technology and inventions leave us extremely well positioned as 5G accelerates in 2020."
Shares of Expedia (EXPE) have dropped 24% after the online travel agency reported an EBITDA and bookings miss in Q3 and cut its FY19 guidance as organic free links continue to shift down in favor of paid links. Following the company's report, at least four Wall Street research firms lowered their ratings on the stock. Meanwhile, TripAdvisor (TRIP) shares are down 20% as the rival OTA also reported worse than expected quarterly results.
Last night, HP Inc. (HPQ) confirmed that it has held conversations with Xerox (XRX) "from time to time" about a potential business combination and received a proposal transmitted in the prior day from its rival. HP confirmed the bid, but declined to disclose the offer price, though CNBC's David Faber reports, citing his sources, that Xerox offered to acquire HP for $22 per share in cash and stock.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Collegium Pharmaceutical (COLL), which gained 39% after reporting quarterly results and after it said on its quarterly call that as of January 1, 2020, Xtampza ER will move into an exclusive formulary position across 15 plans covering more than 35M lives.
Also higher after reporting quarterly results were DexCom (DXCM) and GoDaddy (GDDY), which gained a respective 30% and 15%.
Among the notable losers was Roku (ROKU), which dropped 10% after it reported quarterly results and provided revenue guidance for fiscal 2019.
Also lower after reporting quarterly results were Party City (PRTY) and Fossil Group (FOSL), which fell 59% and 22%, respectively.
INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 222.03, or 0.81%, to 27,714.59, the Nasdaq was up 55.60, or 0.66%, to 8,466.23, and the S&P 500 was up 15.33, or 0.50%, to 3,092.11.