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Stocks seen higher; M&A, earnings watched

IN THE NEWS TODAY

U.S. stock futures powered higher this morning, after the Dow eked out its third straight gain Tuesday. The S&P 500, however, broke its five-session winning streak, while the Nasdaq's four-session advance ended. (CNBC)

The stock market is out of sync with Main Street, billionaire investor Sam Zell told CNBC, adding there continues to be a disparity between reality and Wall Street.

San Francisco Fed President John Williams still expects the central bank to begin raising short-term interest rates this year, despite a slowing of job gains in September. (WSJ)

Central banks around the world are selling U.S. government bonds at the fastest pace on record, the most dramatic shift in the $12.8 trillion Treasury market since the 2008 financial crisis. (WSJ-subscription)

China's foreign exchange reserves shrank by $43.3 billion in September as the central bank there stepped up its currency intervention after a surprise devaluation jolted global markets. (Reuters)

Oil this morning added to Tuesday's 4.9 percent gain on a forecast suggesting a global glut in supply may be easing. Traders will be looking for confirmation from the weekly crude inventories numbers out at 10:30 a.m. ET. (CNBC)

Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) is raising its bid for SABMiller to $103.6 billion. This marks the third takeover proposal to combine the two biggest beer brewers in the world. (CNBC)

Yum Brands (YUM) stock plunged in premarket trading, after the parent of KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut missed estimates with quarterly earnings and revenue. A key China metric also disappointed. (CNBC)

Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and his investment company have doubled their ownership of Twitter (TWTR) shares in the past six weeks to 5 percent, with a market value of $1 billion. (AP)

One futuristic interest SpaceX and Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk doesn't share with some of his fellow Silicon Valley titans is the notion of extending life as an obviously good idea. (Vanity Fair)

United Auto Workers members are planning a strike at U.S. manufacturing plants of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU) ahead of the current four-year contract extension expiration at midnight. (Reuters)

Emissions cheating in diesel cars came from Volkswagen's headquarters in Germany, not the U.S., said VW's new chief executive, with only a few employees believed to be involved. (Reuters)

Billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman said he's certain former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is going to run for president of the United States, and win. (CNBC)

GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson, speaking about the mass shooting in Oregon, said that victims should not be timid during attacks, and he defended his position against tougher gun control measures. (NY Times)

Carson joins CNBC's "Squawk Box" at 8:30 a.m. ET to talk about his rise in the polls and his vision for the nation.

Amtrak is threatening to suspend some services in December unless Congress extends a year-end deadline for adding a speed safeguard, which was not in place on the train that derailed in May near Philadelphia. (CNBC)

Norwegian Air Shuttle, Europe's third-largest budget airline, hopes to sell one-way tickets to Europe for $69 as early as 2017 by flying from U.S. airports with low fees. (Reuters)

BY THE NUMBERS

The only government economic report for today comes at 3 p.m. ET, with the release of August consumer credit figures. Economists are looking for a $20 billion increase, following a $19.1 billion rise in July.

Another roller-coaster interest rate ride, combined with anxiety over new home loan regulations, caused borrowers to rush to their lenders last week, pushing total mortgage applications up 25.5 percent, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Twenty-eight percent of Americans have nothing in their savings accounts and another 21 percent don't even have a savings account, according to a new survey.

Spirits maker Constellation Brands (STZ) and chemical producer Monsanto (MON) lead this morning earnings reports, but there are no major companies issuing quarterly numbers after the bell this afternoon.

STOCKS TO WATCH

Marking a significant bet on diversification beyond its Internet radio service, Pandora (P) appears close to a $450 million deal to buy Ticketfly, a ticketing agency specializing in smaller concert venues.

Express Scripts (ESRX) will cover the costs of two new cholesterol drugs: Praluent made by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) and Repatha from biotech giant Amgen (AMGN).

Nu Skin Enterprises (NUS) late Tuesday cut its revenue estimate for its third quarter, with the skin care products maker pointing to a strong dollar and weaker than expected sales in China.

Adobe Systems (ADBE), the software maker behind PhotoShop, Flash and Acrobat, unveiled in a three-year growth strategy and disappointing financial targets.

Starbucks (SBUX) named a former Adobe executive its first-ever chief technology officer, joining the COO who also has a tech background having been CEO at Juniper Networks.

Pure Storage (PSTG) priced its IPO at $17 a share, the midpoint of the expected range, valuing the six-year-old company at about $3.1 billion. The stock is set to begin trading this morning.

With shareholder approval unlikely, Media General (MEG) has dropped its bid to buy TV station operator and magazine publisher Meredith Corporation (MDP), according to the New York Post.

WATERCOOLER

Jay Leno returned to the "Tonight Show," making an unannounced cameo during Jimmy Fallon's opening monologue last night. He was promoting his new show, "Jay Leno's Garage," premiering tonight on CNBC at 10 p.m. ET/PT. (Variety)

With a performance by Selena Gomez this coming Monday, the NBC "Today" show's live-music feature will become the Citi Concert Series, ending Toyota's sponsorship of the last 12 years. Comcast (CMCSA) owns NBC and CNBC. (NY Times)