Updated from 5:49 a.m. EDT
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Here are five things you must know for Thursday, Nov. 3:
1. -- U.S. stock futures suggested Wall Street would open mixed on continued jitters over next week's U.S. presidential election and as the Federal Reserve held interest rates steady but left the door open for a rate hike next month.
The Fed, as expected, left the fed funds rate at 0.25% to 0.5% at its November meeting, noting that it was waiting for some further evidence of progress toward its goals of full employment and 2% inflation. The decision was 8 to 2 with Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester and Kansas City Fed President Esther George the two dissenters.
"The Committee judges that the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has continued to strengthen but decided, for the time being, to wait for some further evidence of continued progress toward its objectives," the central bank said in a statement. "The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting further improvement."
"All the signs now point to a hike in December," said Luke Bartholomew, fixed income investment manager at Aberdeen Asset Management. "The labor market is doing well, inflation is creeping up and growth is good. However, there's the small matter of the U.S. election to navigate in between now and the U.S. Federal Reserve's next meeting."
The economic calendar in the U.S. on Thursday includes weekly Initial Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m. EDT, third-quarter U.S. Productivity and Costs at 8:30 a.m., Factory Orders for September at 10 a.m., and the ISM Services Index for October at 10 a.m.
In the U.K. the High Court ruled Thursday that Article 50, the trigger for the country's exit from the European Union, cannot be executed without a Parliamentary vote.
The verdict is the biggest blow to date for the government's Brexit plans and essentially indicates that the Prime Minister does not have the power to trigger the exit clause without the consent of lawmakers.The government is expected to appeal the decision to the U.K.'s Supreme Court, which will likely be heard by a full bench of 11 judges early next month.
The pound, which had gained steadily throughout the session against the dollar, spiked to 1.2392 immediately following the ruling, the highest since Oct. 10.
Oil prices in the U.S. early Thursday rose 0.7% to $45.64 a barrel. Gold prices fell 1.1% to $1,294 an ounce. Gold had traded above $1,300 an ounce on Wednesday amid the uncertainty in the U.S. election.
2. -- Facebook (FB) shares tumbled following comments from Chief Financial Officer Dave Wehner about the social networking giant's 2017 performance.
Facebook was nearly unchanged going into its conference call, after having beaten third-quarter estimates against a backdrop of high expectations. Adjusted earnings of $1.09 a share, up 91% from a year earlier, topped analysts' estimates of 97 cents with the help of slower spending growth.
Revenue of $7.01 billion rose 56% and topped a $6.92 billion consensus thanks to a 59% increase in ad revenue to $6.82 billion.
Wehner forecast Facebook's ad sales growth will "come down meaningfully" next year, as increases in the frequency at which ads are shown on Facebook's news feed become "a less significant factor driving revenue growth after mid-2017."
Wehner also said 2017 would be "an aggressive investment year," with Facebook spending heavily on both talent and capital expenditures because of its data center buildout.
The stock fell 6% in premarket trading on Thursday.
3. -- Shares of Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse (CS) fell sharply Thursday after the lender added to its litigation reserves in the third quarter as more European lenders brace for potential fines from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Credit Suisse posted an unexpected 41 million Swiss francs ($42.25 million) profit in the three months ended in September, but set aside a further Sfr357 million to cover potential litigation, notably related to mortgage bond sales in the United States.
"Looking ahead, we expect market activity to continue to be influenced by geopolitical and macro-economic uncertainty over the next several quarters and the outlook to remain challenging," said CEO Tidjane Thiam. "We still have a long way to go in our journey but we are fully mobilized to deliver in challenging market conditions on our key commitments to reduce cost, strengthen our capital base and drive profitable business growth."
Cigna (CI) reported quarterly earnings of $1.94 a share, 3 cents better than analysts' expectations. Revenue was $9.9 billion, which beat the consensus estimate.
Time Inc. (TIME) , the publisher of Sports Illustrated and Fortune, said third-quarter revenue fell about 3% to $750 million, missing analysts' estimates. The loss in the quarter was $1.13 a share vs. a year-earlier loss of $8.30 a share.
The prominent executive departures came after Whole Foods said same-store sales in the fiscal fourth quarter fell 2.6%, worse than expected. It's the fifth straight quarter of declining same-store sales.
Whole Foods posted net income in the fourth quarter of $88 million, or 28 cents a share, beating analysts' estimates of 24 cents. Revenue of $3.5 billion was slightly below forecasts.
The stock rose 2.4% in premarket trading on Thursday.
5. -- The Chicago Cubs won their first World Series title since 1908, outlasting the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in 10 innings of a Game 7 thriller that began Wednesday evening and ended early Thursday.
Cleveland was trying to win its first crown since 1948.