Stocks are threatening record highs on Monday morning as the busiest week for third-quarter earnings season gets underway.
Continue Reading Below
The S&P 500 came within 0.59 points of matching its intraday record high on Friday, before finishing 3.31 points from a record close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended about 440 points from its own record peak.
Early sentiment was helped by the European Union agreeing to postpone the United Kingdom’s exit from the bloc for three months, paving the way for a departure on, or before, Jan. 31, 2020. It's the third time that Brexit has been delayed. The U.K. was originally supposed to leave the E.U. on Mar. 29, 2019.
All three of the major averages were set to open high by about 0.3 percent.
Earnings season kicks into high gear this week, which will be the busiest of the 3Q season. Six of the thirty Dow Industrial companies and 147 firms in the S&P 500, or about 30 percent of the benchmark index, are set to report.
Tiffany & Co. shares were surging after the fashion powerhouse LVMH made a takeover offer of about $120 a share, or $14.5 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Microsoft was pointing to a higher open after winning a $10 billion cloud-computing contract from the Pentagon. Amazon was lower after losing out.
Meanwhile, Pacific Gas and Electric Company shares were under pressure as hurricane-force winds caused the San Francisco-based utility to cut power to 2.4 million people. The early selling will is set to push PG&E's market capitalization below the record low of $2.646 billion, which was set on Friday.
On the earnings front, AT&T's quarterly profit and revenue fell from a year ago, but shares were higher ahead of the opening bell as the company said it gained 101,000 wireless subscribers, up from 69,000 a year earlier.
Elsewhere, Walgreens Boot Alliance was higher after beating on both the top and bottom lines.
Beyond Meat will be in focus as its third-quarter results are due out after the closing bell. Apple, Facebook and Google will report later this week.
Nearly 40 percent of companies in the S&P 500 have reported earnings, and so far the results are better than expected, with more than three-quarters beating profit forecasts and nearly two-thirds topping revenue estimates.
In European trading, the major averages were mixed with Britain's FTSE down 0.1 percent and Germany's DAX higher by 0.4 percent.
Benchmarks in Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong all rose as fears about U.S.-Chinese trade tension and Brexit receded.
The Shanghai Composite Index finished the day with a gain of 0.9 percent, Tokyo's Nikkei closed up 0.3 percent to a 1-year high and Hong Kong's Hang Seng ended the session up 0.8 percent.
Investors are looking to the Federal Reserve for another U.S. interest rate cut this week. Investors expect the Fed to cut its benchmark rate by 0.25 percent following signs of U.S. economic weakness.
Ken Martin and the Associated Press contributed to this article.