Before the bell: What you need to know before the US market open

 
Billy Bambrough
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Tesla cars will soon be able to drive themselves
Tesla cars will soon be able to drive themselves (Source: Getty)

Markets are further backing a Clinton victory in the US presidential election next month after last night's final debate, while the European Central Bank is expected to keep policy on hold when it meets this afternoon.

Here's what you need to know before the US market open at 2:30pm London time.

US futures are pointing higher ahead of the open. The S&P is up by 0.12 per cent, the Nasdaq is 0.13 per cent higher, while the Dow is set to rise 0.19 per cent at the open. The US 10-year yield is up one basis point at 1.75 per cent.

Markets in Europe are mixed in early trading, following Asian markets mostly ending with positive results.

Hillary comes up Trumps

The currency markets have spoken and Hillary Clinton has been declared the winner of last night's US Presidential Election debate.

After a feisty exchange which yet again saw the pair fail to shake hands and where name-calling, bickering and allegation-hurling were the order of the day, Republican Donald Trump failed to leave many marks on his rival.

Or at least that's the instant reaction from buyers-and-sellers of the Mexican peso think.

Read more: What happens if Trump wins?

The currency, which is seen as a proxy for the fortunes of the US electoral cycle, climbed again after last night's performance to briefly hit a seven-week high, before it lost some ground in Asian trading.

Europe on hold

The European Central Bank (ECB) is set to keep policy unchanged when it meets today but is likely to lay the groundwork for more easing in December.

Policy makers are trying to sustain a long-awaited rebound in consumer prices.

ECB president Mario Draghi will have to persuade central bank watchers that he is able to come up with a credible plan by the end of this year.

The press conference begins at 1.30pm London time.

Stocks to watch

All Tesla cars will have the capacity to drive themselves, company boss Elon Musk has revealed in a highly anticipated announcement which the entrepreneur had teased in tweets.

All models, including the Model 3 and and Model X, will now be fitted with hardware that will make it possible to drive without human control. However, that technology will not yet be switched on.

Read more: Google's driverless cars have now racked up 300 years of driving experience

Tesla joined the increasingly crowded race to get driverless cars on the roads, occupied by everyone from Google and Uber to Ford and even homegrown UK projects.

The company's move to fully self-driving cars comes amid concerns around its semi-autonomous autopilot feature, which has been implicated in two fatal crashes in recent months. It is now temporarily switched off in vehicles currently on the road while the company investigates.

American Express shares are shooting up in the pre-market after the the credit card giant posted earnings of $1.20 per share on revenue of $7.77bn last night. The loss of its converted Costco contract meant it was the firm's worst performance in over five years.

Shares in econmmerce site eBay are down some seven per cent in the pre-market after warning Christmas earnings would likely be at the bottom end of Wall Street expectations.

Companies reporting today

Company earnings come thick and fast throughout the day.

Before the open we'll hear from banking giant BNY Mellon, American Airlines, doughnut producers Dunkin' Brands, telco Verizon Communications, and pharma chain Walgreens Boot Alliance.

After the close tonight we'll get the latest numbers from tech giant Microsoft, and payments provider PayPal.

In economic news

Ahead of the open the latest initial jobless claims and the Philly Fed are out, while existing home sales cross the wires shortly after the opening bell.

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