Apple boosts Wall Street ahead of Fed

IN THE NEWS TODAY

U.S. stock futures were higher this morning, after another quiet session ahead of the Fed's policy statement at 2 p.m. ET. Central bankers are expected to leave the door open for an interest rate hike in December, but the market sees early next year as more likely. (CNBC)

Apple (AAPL) was higher in premarket trading, after posting earnings and revenue that topped expectations, boosted by strong iPhone growth in China. But the company was conservative on forward guidance. (CNBC)

Twitter (TWTR) plunged in the premarket, after reporting better-than-expected earnings and revenue but light guidance. Average monthly active users nudged higher to 307 million. (CNBC)

Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) has agreed to buy rival drugstore chain Rite Aid (RAD) for $9.4 billion, as many health care companies look to cut costs and consolidate amid industry changes like Obamacare. (CNBC)

Northrop Grumman (NOC) has won an Air Force contract, worth up to $80 billion, to build the next-generation long range bomber. Meanwhile, Boeing (BA), which had also been in contention, is deciding whether to appeal. (Reuters)

Volkswagen shares rallied in Germany today, despite reporting an operating loss of $3.84 billion in the third quarter, as a scandal over falsifying its diesel emissions knocked the automaker's results. (CNBC)

The FDA said beleaguered biotech unicorn Theranos is shipping the company's blood collection device without the proper authorization across state lines. (CNBC)

In a CNBC op-ed ahead of tonight's GOP presidential debate, candidate Donald Trump made his case for why voters should put him in the White House, citing his leadership skills.

Watch CNBC's "Your Money, Your Vote: The Republican Presidential Debate" tonight. The debate features two sets of candidates discussing critical issues facing America today, including job growth, taxes and the health of our economy. Coverage begins at 5 p.m. ET this evening.

The House is expected to vote today on a bipartisan, two-year budget deal supported by the White House. Meanwhile, House Republicans are set to nominate Rep. Paul Ryan as the new speaker. (USA Today)

Education officials said the drop in math scores on a nationwide test was unexpected, but could be related to changes ushered in by the Common Core standards. (NY Times)

BY THE NUMBERS

In a candid letter to investors, hedge fund billionaire Larry Robbins apologized for a 20 percent year-to-date loss in his flagship fund, writing, "I've failed to protect your capital, and mine … despite a flat market."

U.S. oil prices gained ground this morning, after an industry group reported stockpiles declined at a key storage hub. Traders get a look at the weekly oil inventory numbers from the Energy Department at 10:30 a.m. ET.

Wide weekly swings in mortgage applications seem to have calmed down, now that new lender regulations have been in place for nearly a month. Total home loan filings decreased 3.5 percent last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

It's another busy morning for corporate earnings, with results Mondelez International (MDLZ) and Starwood Hotels (HOT), among others. The after-the-bell list this afternoon includes PayPal (PYPL), Yelp (YELP), and GoPro (GPRO).

Following the split of Hewlett-Packard into two separate companies, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) will be added to the S&P 500 after Friday's close, replacing Hudson City Bancorp, which is about to be acquired. HP Inc. (HPQ), keeping the legacy ticker symbol, will stay in the index.

STOCKS TO WATCH

Akamai (AKAM) shares were slammed in premarket trading, the Internet technology provider issued a profit and sales warning. However, current quarter earnings and revenue beat expectations. Akamai CEO Tom Leighton joins CNBC's "Squawk Box" at 7:40 a.m. ET.

Snack food maker Snyder's-Lance (LNCE) has agreed to buy Diamond Foods (DMND) for $1.27 billion. There were reports last week that Kellogg (K) had been in late-stage talks to purchase Diamond.

IBM (IBM) is near a deal to buy the digital assets of Weather Channel parent Weather Company, a deal that could be valued at more than $2 billion. Re/code had first reported the talks last week.

Jes Staley has been appointed as Barclays (BCS) new chief executive. The former JPMorgan executive's appointment is seen as a move to re-focus on the bank's investment banking operations.

WATERCOOLER

The Kansas City Royals finally prevailed 5-4 at home in a 14-inning opening of the World Series against the New York Mets. At one point, technical difficulties caused delays. (NY Times & CNBC)