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Stock Futures Lower, Elon Musk-Twitter, OPEC+, Tesla and Aaron Judge -- Five Things You Must Know

Stock futures dropped on Wednesday, breaking a strong start to Q4; Elon Musk decides to bid for Twitter after all, OPEC+ is said to consider slashing oil production, Tesla makes a tech change in its autonomous-driving system, and Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees sets the American League record for home runs with 62.
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Here are five things you must know before the market opens on Oct. 5.

1. -- Stock Futures Break Strong Start to Q4

U.S. stock futures on Wednesday, snapping a strong two-day start to the fourth quarter. At last check futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were off 280. Those on the S&P 500 gave back 35 points while those on the Nasdaq fell 101. On Tuesday U.S. stocks leaped for a second day, with the Dow industrials up 825 points, or 2.8%, the S&P 500 tacking on 3.06% and Nasdaq surging 3.34%. The major indexes had fallen in August and September amid sharp inflation and the Federal Reserve's determination to crush it with interest-rate increases. A number of economic reports are due out on Wednesday, including the ADP payrolls report at 8:15 a.m. U.S. Eastern, the international trade balance at 8:30, and the ISM services index at 10. And analysts and investors will be looking closely at Friday’s U.S. jobs report to assess how much impact the Fed’s rate hikes are already having on the economy. The current forecast from The Wall Street Journal is a rise of 275,000 jobs. 

2. -- Elon Musk Puts $44B Bid for Twitter Back on the Table

Elon Musk, the billionaire CEO of electric-vehicle leader Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Free Report, put his offer for the microblogging website Twitter  (TWTR) - Get Free Report -- $54.20 a share, or $44 billion -- back on the table, according to a regulatory filing, TheStreet's Luc Olinga reported. Musk had made the offer for Twitter on April 25 but withdrew it on July 8, saying the company had lied to him about the number of fake accounts on the platform. Twitter filed suit, asking the Delaware Chancery Court to compel Musk to make good on his commitment. A five-day trial was supposed to start Oct. 17. Musk's bid is conditioned on Twitter dropping the lawsuit. Twitter shares closed on Tuesday at $52, 4% below Musk's offer price. How to monetize Twitter will be one of Musk's knottiest efforts if and when he closes the deal.

3. -- OPEC+ Is Said to Mull Sharp Oil-Output Cuts

OPEC+ could slash its oil-production targets when it meets Wednesday, even as the U.S. pressures the group to produce more, Reuters reported. The cut in an already tight oil market could prompt a rise in oil prices, which in three months have fallen 25% to around $90 from $120. That decline came on the back of concerns that the global economy could fall into recession; interest-rate increases from the Federal Reserve, and a stronger dollar, Reuters reported. OPEC+, which includes Saudi Arabia and Russia, is mulling cuts of 1 million to 2 million barrels a day, sources told the news service.

4. -- Tesla to Remove Ultrasonic Sensors From Vehicles, Use Only Cameras

Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Free Report said it would be using only cameras in the driver-assist functions of its electric cars, removing ultrasonic sensors from the vehicles. Elecktrek reported that originally Tesla's driver-assist system encompassed eight cameras, a front-facing radar, and several ultrasonic sensors all around its vehicles. "The ultrasonic sensors were primarily used for short-range object detections in applications like auto-park and collision warnings," the news service reported. The move, which will cut costs, will also limit some features. Elecktrek said, adding that software updates will improve the system. Regulators have been scrutinizing Tesla's autonomous-driving technology after its cars with the system were involved in accidents.

5. -- Aaron Judge Hits American League Record 62nd Home Run

Outfielder Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees, in the next-to-last game of the season, slugged his 62nd home run, passing Roger Maris to set an American League record. Judge hit his shot in the first inning of a game against the Texas Rangers, off pitcher Jesus Tinoco. Judge, 30, is the first player to hit 60 home runs since 2001. He leads the league in the three Triple Crown statistics -- batting average, home runs and runs batted in -- and if he holds the lead in average, Sports Illustrated reported, he’d become the first Triple Crown winner in a decade and just the second in 55 years.