Skip to main content

Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, Oct. 16: 

1. -- Stock Futures Point Lower on Wall Street

U.S. stock futures declined Wednesday as Wall Street awaited another round of third-quarter earnings reports and global stocks traded mixed as investors monitored Brexit developments.

Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 66 points, futures for the S&P 500 slipped 8.20 points, and Nasdaq futures were down 19.75 points.

The years-long effort by the U.K. to leave the European Union with an exit agreement saw a potential breakthrough as talks extended into a third consecutive day with the aim of bringing a complete text to EU leaders later this week in Brussels. Many questions remain unanswered, however, before the Brexit deadline of Oct. 31.

Stocks in Asia traded mostly higher but declined in Shanghai after the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved four pieces of legislation backing pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, a move that China described as having "sinister intentions" and that were designed to curtail its broader economic growth.

Should China retaliate to the U.S. measures passed Tuesday evening - which still need Senate approval - the fragile truce on trade and tariffs the two sides reached late last week in Washington could be jeopardized.

The worrying political backdrop offset Tuesday's solid session on Wall Street, which saw the Dow rise nearly 240 points following stronger-than-expected earnings from JPMorgan Chase  (JPM) - Get Free Report , Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) - Get Free Report  and UnitedHealth (UNH) - Get Free Report  .

2. -- Netflix, IBM, Bank of America Are Earnings Highlights Wednesday

Bank of America (BAC) - Get Free Report  reported third-quarter earnings of 56 cents a share, beating analysts' estimates by 2 cents.

Earnings reports are also expected Wednesday from Netflix (NFLX) - Get Free Report , International Business Machines (IBM) - Get Free Report , Alcoa (AA) - Get Free Report , Kinder Morgan (KMI) - Get Free Report , Abbott Laboratories (ABT) - Get Free Report , U.S. Bancorp (USB) - Get Free Report , Bank of New York Mellon (BK) - Get Free Report , CSX (CSX) - Get Free Report and United Rentals (URI) - Get Free Report .

Abbott Laboratories is a holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells the stock? Learn more now.

The economic calendar Wednesday includes Retail Sales for September at 8:30 a.m. ET, Business Inventories for August at 10 a.m., the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index for October at 10 a.m., and the Federal Reserve's "Beige Book" at 2 p.m.

3. -- Three Drug Distributors Reportedly in Talks to Settle Opioid Litigation for $18 Billion

Three major drug distributors - McKesson (MCK) - Get Free Report , AmerisourceBergen (ABC) - Get Free Report and Cardinal Health  (CAH) - Get Free Report - are in talks to pay $18 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits brought by state and local governments blaming them for fueling the opioid crisis, people familiar with the discussions told The Wall Street Journal.

The three companies would collectively pay $18 billion over 18 years under the deal currently on the table, the people said. Johnson & Johnson  (JNJ) - Get Free Report also is involved in the discussions to contribute additional money, some of the people told the Journal.

The three companies, which together control about 85% of the U.S. prescription drug market, are among six that are slated to be defendants in a trial set to begin in federal court in Cleveland on Oct. 21. If the companies reach a settlement before the trial starts, the remaining defendants would be Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA) - Get Free Report , Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) - Get Free Report and Henry Schein  (HSIC) - Get Free Report , according to Reuters.

McKesson rose 7.8% in after-hours trading Tuesday, AmerisourceBergen gained 6.9% and Cardinal health gained 4.6%.

4. -- United Airlines Beats Earnings Forecasts, Lifts Guidance

United Airlines (UAL) - Get Free Report  rose 1.3% to $89.02 in premarket trading Wednesday after the Chicago carrier reported third-quarter earnings ahead of analysts' expectations and raised its full-year guidance.

The airline reported adjusted earnings of $4.07 a share vs. analysts' forecasts of $3.95. Revenue was $11.38 billion, below forecasts of $11.42 billion.

United raised its full-year adjusted earnings guidance to a range of $11.25 to $12.25 a share from its previous view of $10.50 to $12. Wall Street expects the company to report earnings of $11.85 a share for the fiscal year.

The airline is "ahead of pace" to reach its goal of adjusted profit of between $11 and $13 by the end of 2020, CEO Oscar Munoz said in a statement. 

5. -- MGM Resorts Reaches Deals to Sell Circus Circus, Bellagio in Las Vegas

MGM Resorts International

(MGM) - Get Free Report

reached a deal to sell its its Circus Circus Las Vegas hotel for $825 million and entered a sale-leaseback deal for its Bellagio real estate holdings with Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust.

The two real estate deals will bring the company $5.1 billion.

MGM will sell the Circus Circus hotel to an affiliate of Treasure Island owner Phil Ruffin. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Under the terms of the deal with Blackstone (BX) - Get Free Report , the two companies will form a joint venture, with Blackstone controlling 95% and MGM 5%. MGM Resorts will then lease the property from the joint venture, continuing to operate and manage the facilities.

In addition to the 5% stake, MGM will receive $4.2 billion cash, the company said in a statement. The deal also is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

"We will use the proceeds from this transaction, together with the proceeds from the pending sale of Circus Circus Las Vegas, to build a fortress balance sheet and return capital to shareholders," MGM CEO and Chairman Jim Murren said in a statement.