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Stocks Waver Amid Slew of Corporate Results

By Anna Isaac 

U.S. stock futures and equities across Europe were mostly flat Tuesday as investors turned their attention to the health of major corporations reporting third-quarter earnings while awaiting further developments on Brexit.

Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average wavered ahead of another day laden with earnings reports. A range of household names are poised to report later Tuesday, including tariff-hit Whirlpool and social-media company Snap.

Shares of Biogen climbed 37% in premarket trading after the pharmaceutical company said it would seek regulatory approval for a drug that treats Alzheimer's disease. Bristol-Myers Squibb rose 5% after the drugmaker reported favorable results from a trial for a cancer treatment.

Meanwhile, shares of consumer-products giant Procter & Gamble gained over 4% and motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson climbed 6% ahead of the opening bell as both companies reported better-than-expected earnings. Hasbro fell more than 13% after the toy maker's third-quarter revenue disappointed investors.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index was mostly flat as Brexit uncertainty weighed on investor appetite ahead of another day of voting by U.K. lawmakers on the terms of the nation's exit from the European Union.

"Investors want to keep the status quo unless proven otherwise," said Geoffrey Yu, head of the U.K. investment office at USB Wealth Management. "They have learned with trade talks and Brexit, if you try and position too aggressively for the downside, you might just get smacked in the face."

The British pound fell 0.3% against the dollar. Analysts expect the pound to face further volatility in the days ahead.

Sovereign-bond yields in major European economies fell amid the continuing political upheaval. The German 10-year bund was down 3.1 basis points to minus 0.373%, while the yield on the U.K. 10-year gilt ticked down to 0.732%. The yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasurys ticked lower to 1.775%. Bond yields fall as prices rise.

Among European stocks, shares in Just Eat rose 25% in London after Prosus made a GBP4.9 billion ($6.3 billion) offer to buy the food-delivery company. The deal was swiftly rejected by Just Eat's board.

China's Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.5% after President Trump said Monday that a trade deal between the U.S. and China "is coming along very well," leading to speculation that the two nations may reach a tariff agreement in the coming months. His top trade negotiator also said that the U.S. aims to finish the first phase of talks by mid-November when the two countries meet in Chile.

Later Tuesday, markets will get an update on the health of the housing market in the U.S. when the National Association of Realtors publishes figures on existing-home sales for last month. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect sales to have fallen by 0.2%.

Write to Anna Isaac at anna.isaac@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 22, 2019 09:17 ET (13:17 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.