Here are five things you must know for Tuesday, Oct. 31:
2. -- Samsung Electronics Co. (SSNLF) confirmed its most profitable quarter on record Tuesday and said it would double the amount of cash it returns to shareholders and boost its capital spending plans as it looks to maintain its lead in the surging global memory chip market.
The world's biggest chip and smartphone maker said operating profit for the three months ended in September was 14.53 trillion Korean won ($12.91 billion), a 23.4% increase from the same period last year, on sales of about 62 trillion Korean won.
Samsung also pledged to return 26 billion Korean won to shareholders over the next three years, doubling its annual dividend to 9.6 trillion Korean won. That will put around 50% of the group's free cash flow back into the hands of investors.
The company also said capex for the full year will be increased to a record 46.2 trillion Korean won as it plans new factory, assembly and storage facilities to take advantage of the surge in global chip demand.
CEO Kwon Oh-Hyun, heir apparent to the incarcerated former chairman, Jay Y. Lee, said earlier this month he would step down in March after more than three decades at Samsung to make room for what he called "a new spirit and young leadership." Samsung announced on Tuesday the promotion of three executives as joint CEOs.
The change would affect iPhones released in the fall of 2018, but Apple could still change course before then, the people told Reuters.
The dispute stems from a change in supply arrangements under which Qualcomm has stopped providing some software for Apple to test its chips in its iPhone designs, one of the people told Reuters.
The two companies have been in an extended legal battle over Qualcomm's licensing terms to Apple.
Qualcomm shares were down 6.7% in premarket trading on Tuesday.
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4. -- Facebook Inc. (FB) said a Russian group posted more than 80,000 times on its service during and after the 2016 election, potentially reaching as many as 126 million users, the Associated Press reported.
The social networking giant plans to disclose these numbers to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, according to a person familiar with the testimony, the AP reported. Facebook, Twitter Inc. (TWTR) and Alphabet Inc.'s (GOOGL) Google will testify at three hearings Tuesday and Wednesday.
5. -- Pfizer Inc. (PFE) reported third-quarter adjusted earnings of 67 cents a share, beating estimates by 3 cents, ans also raised its guidance for 2017.
The stock rose 2.4% in premarket trading.
Aetna Inc. (AET) earned $2.45 a share on an adjusted basis in the third quarter, topping Wall Street's expectations of $2.08. Revenue in the quarter fell 5% to $14.99 billion.
Earnings reports are expected Tuesday from Kellogg Co. (K) , Under Armour Inc. (UA) , 3D Systems Corp. (DDD) , Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) , Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc. (LL) , Mastercard Inc. (MA) , United States Steel Corp. (X) and Shopify Inc. (SHOP) .
This story has been updated from 6:01 a.m. ET.
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