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Wall Street jittery ahead of bumper earnings, Fed

IN THE NEWS TODAY

U.S. stock futures were lower this morning. This week's big drivers include the Fed's two-day meeting, which begins tomorrow, and the continued flood of earnings, including Apple (AAPL) after the bell tomorrow. (CNBC)

With a week to go in October, Wall Street has, thus far, had its best month in four years. The Dow is coming off its fourth straight week of gains for the first time this year. (CNBC)


Valeant (VRX) has formed a committee to review allegations against the company, which have pummeled the stock recently, but so far believes it's in "compliance with applicable law." Valeant plans an 8 a.m. ET conference call with investors. (CNBC)

Sam Zell's Equity Residential (EQR) has agreed to sell more than 23,000 apartments, about a quarter of its units, for $5.4 billion to Barry Sternlicht's Starwood Capital. (WSJ)

The UAW and General Motors (GM) have reached a tentative agreement on a new four-year contract, avoiding a strike for now. Local union leaders vote Wednesday on whether to send the deal to their members. (AP)

Walt Disney's (DIS) ESPN unit has withdrawn its content from Google-owned YouTube, following the announcement of the new ad-free subscription video service called YouTube Red. (AP)

Microsoft (MSFT) is opening a new flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City today, as the tech giant seeks to elevate its interaction with consumers. (USA Today)

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) will roll out Facebook at Work, a social network for business communications, to 30,000 of its employees by March 2016, and to all workers by the end of next year. (CNBC)

U.S. regulators are expanding an investigation into Deutsche Bank (DB), looking into the possibility of money laundering at the bank's Moscow unit and possible sanctions violations. (FT)

The cancer research arm of the World Health Organization is expected to rule as a carcinogen processed meat such as bacon and sausages, while deeming red meat as probably carcinogenic. (FT)

A major earthquake struck northeastern Afghanistan today, shaking the capital Kabul and sending shockwaves that were felt in north India and Pakistan. (Reuters)

Parts of Louisiana were under water today, as severe thunderstorms moved into the Gulf Coast area after a storm partially formed by remnants of Hurricane Patricia flooded Texas over the weekend. (NBC News)

Vice President Joe Biden told "60 Minutes" on CBS he would have run for the president, but decided he "couldn't win" and that he would never again seek political office. (NBC News)

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said on NBC's "Meet the Press" he would "love" to see Roe vs. Wade overturned, making abortion illegal nationwide, with almost no exemptions. (NBC News)

The world would be a better place if dictators such as Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi were still in power, GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump told CNN's "State of the Union." (AFP)

Trump, Carson, and eight of the other GOP presidential hopefuls will be on the main stage at the next debate on Wednesday. It's sponsored by CNBC. Coverage begins at 5 p.m. ET.

Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin Wednesday is expected to be chosen by his Republican colleagues as their speaker candidate. He would then be elected on the House floor on Thursday. (NY Times)

Congress risks "manufacturing crisis" by avoiding to raise the debt ceiling, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said in an opinion piece in USA Today. The government is seen running out of money a week from Tuesday.

Maureen O'Hara, who appeared in classics ranging from the grim "How Green Was My Valley" to the uplifting "Miracle on 34th Street," has died. She was 95. (AP)

BY THE NUMBERS

Gasoline prices fell another 10.5 cents, with consumers poised to save nearly a dollar a gallon at the pump compared with a year ago, according to the latest Lundberg survey.

This morning, the government issues September new home sales at 10 a.m. ET, with forecasts calling for a 0.5 percent increase following a 5.7 percent jump in August.

It's a busy week for earnings, with more than 150 companies in the S&P 500 set to report. But today's a light day, with LabCorp (LH) and Xerox (XRX) reporting this morning. Broadcom (BRCM) and PMC-Sierra (PMCS) issue quarterly numbers after the closing bell.

Comcast, parent of CNBC, today announced a proposal to reclassify each share of its Class A special common stock into one share of Class A common stock. The board has approved the move. The shareholders will get to vote soon.

Ahead of tomorrow afternoon's earnings, Apple today will be accepting orders for its new version of Apple TV. On stage at last week's WSJDLive conference, CEO Tim Cook said the new devices would start shipping at the end of this week.

STOCKS TO WATCH

Duke Energy (DUK), the largest U.S. power company by generation capacity, said it would buy natural gas distributor Piedmont Natural Gas (PNY) for $4.9 billion in cash.

Visa (V) has won the business of USAA, one of the largest U.S. issuers of credit and debit cards, which is switching from longtime partner MasterCard (MA), saying the move allows for more benefits to cardholders.

Diebold (DBD) and Citigroup (C) are testing a new eye-scanning ATM, which would allow withdrawals with an eye scan or a smartphone code, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR) will import coffee beans into the U.S. through duty free sites, as a way of saving money. According to Reuters, the move would have saved $1.6 million in fiscal 2014.

Toyota (TM) was the world's best-selling automaker during the first nine months of the year, selling almost 7.5 million cars and trucks. Volkswagen, which had been No. 1 over the first half of the year, was second.

A widening internal probe at VW is focusing not only on who's responsible for installing illegal emissions-cheating software, but also on which managers knew and failed to act, according to the New York Times.

WATERCOOLER

The new "Steve Jobs" movie, which expanded into wider-release after a brisk limited run in a few key cities, earned just $7.3 million at the domestic box office this weekend. (USA Today)