5 Things to Know Before Markets Open

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Inflation is projected to decline in the latest Consumer Price Index, and the United Auto Workers union expanded its strike to Ford’s Kentucky truck plant. Here’s what investors need to know today.

1. Inflation Projected to Decline in September CPI Report

Stock futures moved higher in pre-market trading ahead of the 8:30 a.m. ET release of the Consumer Price Index, which economists expect to show inflation climbed at a 3.6% annual pace in September, down from 3.7% the month prior, in what would be the reading’s first decline since June. On a month-over-month basis, the index is expected to have climbed 0.3% in September, easing from 0.6% in August. Core inflation, which omits volatile food and energy costs, is expected to have climbed 0.3% on a monthly basis in September, at the same rate as in August, while the annual pace is projected at 4.1%, down from August’s 4.3%.

2. Ford Shares Fall After UAW Expands Strike to Kentucky Truck Facility

Ford (F) shares fell almost 2.5% in pre-market trading after the United Auto Workers unexpectedly announced that its 8,700 workers would strike at the company’s Kentucky Truck Plant, escalating the union’s ongoing strike against the Big Three automakers. Ford makes several of its top-selling pickups and SUVs at the facility, producing about $25 billion in revenue, nearly one-sixth of the company’s total.

3. IRS Delivers $28.9 Billion Back Tax Bill to Microsoft

The Internal Revenue Service ordered Microsoft (MSFT) to pay $28.9 billion in additional taxes, interest, and penalties following a multi-year audit covering the period of 2004 to 2013. Microsoft said it will “vigorously” contest the findings through administrative and court appeals that are likely to take several years. Shares of Microsoft dipped 0.3% in pre-market trading.

4. Victoria’s Secret Shares Gain After Improved Earnings Forecast

Victoria’s Secret & Co. (VSCO) shares gained nearly 2.5% in pre-market trading after the lingerie maker narrowed its projected losses for its fiscal third-quarter, citing international growth stemming from its plans to boost business amid weaker demand for intimate wear. Victoria’s Secret will maintain its full-year outlook for a revenue decline in the low-single-digit range, but it said it now expects third-quarter losses of $0.70 to $0.90 a share, better than its prior forecast of $0.70 to $1 a share loss for the third-quarter.

5. Initial Jobless Claims Projected to Increase

Initial jobless claims for the week ending Oct. 7 are expected to increase to 210,000, up from 207,000 in the prior week, when that data is released at 8:30 a.m. ET. At the same time, the Social Security Administration will release its annual cost of living adjustment, while Boston Fed President Susan Collins is scheduled to speak at 4 p.m. ET.



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