5 Things You Need to Know Before the Stock Market Opens

BOSTON (TheStreet) -- General Electric's third-quarter earnings report leads your quick fix of company, market, economic and investing news for Friday, Oct. 21.

GE CEO Jeff Immelt

Friday's 5 Biggest Stories

GE Capital saves General Electric's ( GE) quarter, as the company's energy infrastructure unit weighed on results. Bloomberg

Microsoft ( MSFT), in another ho-hum quarterly report, posts gains even as PC sales soften. New York Times

The floods in Thailand don't seem to be getting nearly as much attention as they probably should, given the potential impact to companies. Bloomberg

Groupon set the terms of its much-criticized IPO. Turns out, though, that the company could turn a profit soon after breaking even last quarter. Business Insider

The European Union is now pitching a $1.3 trillion bazooka to help fix the debt crisis. Bloomberg

Quote of the Day

"I'm not going to put words in a deceased man's mouth," says Netflix ( NFLX) CEO Reed Hastings, when asked what he thought the late Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple ( AAPL), would think of Netflix's botched handling of splitting its Internet-streaming and DVD-by-mail units. New York Times

Other Company News

Chipotle Mexican Grill ( CMG) is the high-flier that keeps on rising, even with higher food costs. Barron's

Insiders at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters ( GMCR) would really, really like to put you behind the wheel of their own shares. What will it take? The Reformed Broker

Honeywell ( HON) quietly books another strong quarter. Why was this stock pushed out of the Dow Jones Industrial Average? Bloomberg Businessweek

Markets

The mystery over U.S. banks' European exposure continues ... FT Alphaville

Did Mike Mayo, the bank analyst who blasted Bank of America ( BAC) for not taking his call, dial the wrong number? Business Insider

I wrote about this separately yesterday, but how would the Federal Reserve actually target nominal GDP? Worthwhile Canadian Initiative

Investment Strategy

New CTFC position limits may actually be bearish for silver. Kid Dynamite

Stock returns during Ramadan are significantly higher and less volatile than during the rest of the year. In other words, don't fast on investing. Science Direct

Is it time for investors to take a look at municipal bonds? WSJ Total Return

Odds and Ends

Millionaire Bruce Wayne is slumming it with Occupy Wall Street later this month. New York Times

According to the official biography set for release next week, Steve Jobs told President Obama he was headed for a one-term presidency. Huffington Post

M.C. Hammer is starting his own search engine. I hear it will freeze up constantly on users, but it's too legit to quit (zing). Washington Post

Today is Friday. You know what that means? It's time to party. YouTube

-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Robert Holmes.

>To follow Robert Holmes on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/RobTheStreet.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

More from Opinion

Attention 60 Minutes: Google Isn't the Only Big-Tech Monopoly

Attention 60 Minutes: Google Isn't the Only Big-Tech Monopoly

How Technology Will Unleash the Legal Marijuana Industry's Growth Potential

How Technology Will Unleash the Legal Marijuana Industry's Growth Potential

Apple Buys Tesla? Amazon Buys Sears? 3 Dream Mergers That Just Make Sense

Apple Buys Tesla? Amazon Buys Sears? 3 Dream Mergers That Just Make Sense

Amazon's Assault on Grocery Stores Will Have a Profound Impact on Many

Amazon's Assault on Grocery Stores Will Have a Profound Impact on Many

It's Dumb to Think There Aren't Already Monopolies in Big Tech

It's Dumb to Think There Aren't Already Monopolies in Big Tech