Tim Cook comes out and growth data — 5 things to know today by Ben Geier @FortuneMagazine October 30, 2014, 8:27 AM EDT E-mail Tweet Facebook Google Plus Linkedin Share icons Good morning, friends and Fortune readers. Less than a week before the midterm elections, a major indicator of the health of the U.S. economy comes out today: the GDP number for the third quarter. Obviously, national numbers like this are less relevant in midterms than in presidential elections, but the good number could help the Democrats salvage control of the Senate. Plus, we’ve got a slew of tech earnings. Here’s what else you need to know in business today. 1. Tim Cook comes out It may have been the biggest open secret in Silicon Valley, but Apple’s AAPL CEO Tim Cook officially came out as gay in an essay penned for Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Congrats, Tim. 2. Samsung takes another hit Samsung’s net profit for the third quarter fell by more than 50% compared with the same period a year ago, according to The Wall Street Journal. The song largely remains the same: Samsung is losing ground rapidly in the smartphone business, mostly to low-cost Chinese manufacturers. 3. More tech earnings come sundown After the close of trading, two social sites will report their earnings — LinkedIn LNKD and Groupon GRPN . Linkedin is expected to post an increase in earnings from last year, mostly on the back of subscriber growth, while Groupon looks to build on a surprise positive report last quarter. Starbucks SBUX will also report its earnings later today. 4. America’s growing This morning the government said the U.S. economy grew at a 3.5% pace in the third quarter, a better-than-expected jump that indicates the world’s largest economy is performing well even as the global economy faces headwinds. The data will be especially scrutinized a day after the Federal Reserve ended its stimulative bond-buying program. 5. Microsoft MSFT introduces product, lays of 3,000 Two divergent bits of news for the Seattle tech giant: On the one hand (or wrist), the company announced its new wearable device, the Microsoft Band. On the other hand (figuratively), it let go of 3,000 more staffers as part of CEO Satya Nadella’s restructuring plan. —Reuters contributed to this report.