A customer pays for groceries at a Wal-Mart store.
Photograph by Patrick T. Fallon — Bloomberg/Getty Images
By Ben Geier
October 31, 2014

Good morning, friends and Fortune readers.

Happy Friday, and happy Halloween! News earlier this morning that the Bank of Japan has taken unexpected additional stimulus measures to boost the Japanese economy has scared up a huge rally in global markets. In Europe, stocks are sharply higher, and earlier Japan’s Nikkei closed up some 5 percent. Here is the U.S. we are expecting a significant surge at the open, with the Dow possibly hitting a new all-time high and rounding out a wacky October for the markets. Here’s what else you need to know about today.

1. Have a cold one

Anheuser-Busch InBev, makers of beers including Budweiser, Corona and Rolling Rock reported a rise in global earnings this morning. The international company brought in 2.32 billion euros, up from 2.21 billion in the third quarter of 2013. Shares of the company dropped, though, because despite an increase in earnings, total volume dropped 2.6%.

2. What’s your income?

Americans cut their spending in September, the Commerce Department said Friday. Personal spending fell 0.2% from August, the first time American spending has declined since January. Still, personal income rose 0.2%.

3. The holiday battle begins

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) is leaving nothing to chance in a holiday season it needs to win. Fortune’s Phil Wahba reports that the discount retailer is doubling the number of deals it is offering this weekend, in an early kick-off to the holiday shopping season, and planning to make full use of its recent tech investments to keep rival Amazon.com, among others, at bay with more options for shipping and order pick up than it has previously offered.

4. Russia and Ukraine strike a deal

Europe won’t freeze this winter. Russia and Ukraine have struck a deal for the former to supply gas to the latter, ensuring that the gas will continue to flow this winter. The BBC notes that this deal could also be seen as a possible first step towards easing the tension still prickling in Eastern Europe.

5. Sony takes it on the chin

It wasn’t as bad as it could have been, but Sony (SNE) still posted an operating loss of 85.6 billion yen last quarter. Reuters notes that the company’s lone bright spot, and the reason losses weren’t as bad as expected, was the PlayStation 4, which sold well.


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