Bloomberg

Here are five things you must know for Monday, Oct. 21: 

1. -- Stock Futures Point Modestly Higher

U.S. stock futures rose modestly Monday amid hopes for progress in the trade war between the U.S. and China but also uncertainties about Britain's exit from the European Union.

Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 33 points, futures for the S&P 500 gained 6.55 points, and Nasdaq futures rose 23.25 points.

Sentiment got a lift from comments by Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, who said Friday that Beijing will work with the U.S. to address each other's concerns.

But in the U.K., Britain's parliament forced Prime Minister Boris Johnson to seek a delay to an Oct. 31 deadline for Britain's departure from the European Union.

With those macro concerns as a backdrop, Wall Street will be preparing this week for corporate earnings reports from such heavyweights as Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) , Amazon.com (AMZN - Get Report)  , Caterpillar (CAT - Get Report) and McDonald's (MCD - Get Report) .

U.S. stocks finished lower Friday though the S&P 500 posted its second straight weekly gain.

2. -- SAP Posts 28% Jump in Third-Quarter Profit

SAP (SAP - Get Report) , the German software giant, posted Monday a 28% jump in third-quarter profit to €1.25 billion ($1.4 billion) as revenue rose 13% on the back of strong sales from its cloud subscription operations. The company also announced a three-year cloud partnership with Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) .

Revenue from cloud subscriptions and support soared 37% to €1.79 billion in the period. The company also reiterated its full-year guidance.

American depositary receipts of SAP rose 1.8% to $131.45 in premarket trading Monday.

Earnings reports are expected Monday from Halliburton (HAL - Get Report) , TD Ameritrade (AMTD - Get Report) , Xerox (XRX - Get Report) , and L3 Technologies (LLL) .

The economic calendar in the U.S. Monday is bare. Durable Goods Orders and New Home Sales for September will be released later in the week.

3. -- Boris Johnson to Push for a Brexit Vote

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected Monday to push for a vote in Parliament on his divorce agreement with the European Union.

Johnson will begin by asking for a "straight up-and-down vote" on the agreement, two days after lawmakers voted to delay approving the deal, according to his office, the Associated Press reported.

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow could refuse to allow such a vote because parliamentary rules generally bar the same measure from being considered a second time during the same session of Parliament unless something has changed.

Johnson late Saturday asked the European Union to delay Brexit after Parliament postponed a decision on whether to back his divorce deal. Johnson has been defiant in saying that he personally opposed delaying the U.K.'s exit, scheduled for Oct. 31.

Johnson's government was defeated in a crucial vote on Saturday, the first weekend sitting in nearly 40 years, by a majority of 16 as lawmakers opted to approve an amendment that effectively forces Johnson to seek an extension to the date of Britain's EU departure.

4. -- Boeing Expresses Regret Over Ex-Test Pilot's 737 MAX Message

Boeing (BA - Get Report) apologized Sunday after reports days earlier revealed that an ex-test pilot had disclosed to a colleague that he accidentally misled safety regulators about the 737 MAX's control system.

The jet was involved in two fatal crashes, one over Ethiopia and another earlier crash over Indonesia, before getting grounded worldwide.

"We understand and regret the concern caused by the release Friday of a Nov. 15, 2016, instant message involving a former Boeing employee, Mark Forkner, a technical pilot involved in the development of training and manuals. And we especially regret the difficulties that the release of this document has presented for the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and other regulators," said Boeing on Sunday in a statement.

In the message, Forkner had said that the MCAS flight system was "running rampant" while undergoing testing in a flight simulator, according to a report in the Associated Press.

"It is unfortunate that this document, which was provided early this year to government investigators, could not be released in a manner that would have allowed for meaningful explanation," said Boeing in its statement.

The company said it has not yet spoken to Forkner directly about the document, but that he has said through his lawyer that "his comments reflected a reaction to a simulator program that was not functioning properly, and that was still undergoing testing."

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. lawmakers probing the 737 MAX jet crisis are ratcheting up scrutiny of Boeing's leaders as new details point to management pressure on engineers and pilots in its commercial-aircraft unit.

Investigators for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee looking into the design and certification of the 737 MAX have received details of a three-year-old internal Boeing survey showing roughly one in three employees who responded felt "potential undue pressure" from managers regarding safety-related approvals by federal regulators across an array of commercial planes. 

5. -- First Federal Opioid Trial Begins Monday

The first federal trial on the opioid crisis is expected to open Monday in Cleveland.

Six companies remain in the case after a series of settlements, including one with Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Get Report) and a tentative deal with OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, which has filed for bankruptcy. They are drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA - Get Report) , AmerisourceBergen (ABC - Get Report) , Cardinal Health (CAH - Get Report) , McKesson (MCK - Get Report) , Henry Schein (HSIC - Get Report) and Walgreens (WBA - Get Report) in its capacity as a distributor.

Shares of those companies declined Friday after talks to settle the thousands of state and local government lawsuits over the opioid crisis broke down, leading the trial to go forward.

Talks between lawyers representing the companies and those representing the governments failed in part because local governments aren't in agreement with state attorneys general over apportioning settlement money, Reuters reported.

Reports surfaced last week that a settlement in cash and services worth as much as $50 billion was under consideration.

Drug companies and distributors are accused of pushing highly addictive opioid pain killers onto patients, with few limitations. More than 400,000 people have died in the U.S. from opioid-related overdoses over the past two decades.

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