Wall Street advanced on Thursday as investor sentiment was buoyed by a string of corporate earnings results and encouraging geopolitical developments. A broad-based rally led all three major US stock averages to moderate gains.

Britain and the European Union agreed to a severance deal, moving closer toward wrapping up three years of uncertainties after Britons voted to leave the bloc. Upbeat statements from Beijing and Washington fuelled hopes that a phased agreement could ease the long-running US-China trade war that has rattled markets for months. And Turkey agreed to pause its Syria assault to allow for the withdrawal of Kurdish forces.

Analysts now see third-quarter S&P 500 earnings falling by 2.9 per cent, according to Refinitiv I/B/E/S, marking the first contraction since the earnings recession that ended mid-2016. But of the 63 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported so far, 82.5 per cent have come in above estimates.

Morgan Stanley rounded out big bank earnings with better-than-expected third-quarter profits, driven by bond trading and M&A advisory strength, sending its shares up 1.5 per cent. Streaming pioneer Netflix Inc advanced 2.5 per cent after the company reported a rebound in subscribers in the third quarter.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 24.18 points, or 0.09 per cent, to 27,026.16, the S&P 500 gained 8.28 points, or 0.28 per cent, to 2,997.97 and the Nasdaq Composite added 32.67 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 8,156.85.

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