Skip to Content

VW and the Pope’s U.S. tour–5 things to know today

Hello friends and Fortune readers.

Wall Street stock futures are bouncing this morning after Tuesday’s horror show that was induced by fresh fears for the strength of the global economy. Those fears were corroborated by another shocking PMI number from China but most participants appear to think that things have fallen far enough for now. The dollar is flat against the euro, while crude oil futures have recovered to nearly $47 a barrel.

Today’s must-read story is by Fortune contributor Heidi Hartmann, an economist, MacArthur Fellow, and president of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, who reports that the gender pay gap hit a record low last year. There’s one major problem: at this rate, women won’t see equal pay until 2059. Read more here.

Here’s what else you need to know today.

1. The Pope has landed.

Pope Francis landed in Washington D.C. Tuesday where he kicked off his six-day, three-city visit to the U.S. The Holy See will visit the White House today at 9:15 a.m. before parading around the Mall in his specially-designed popemobile. He will also stop by St. Matthew’s Cathedral and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. He will be the first pope ever to address a joint meeting of Congress on Thursday before he makes his way to New York and then Philadelphia.

2. Volkswagen’s scandal keeps getting worse.

Volkswagen AG CEO Martin Winterkorn is set to be grilled by the executive committee of the company’s board as the fallout from its emissions cheating scandal spreads.Winterkorn issued a video apology Tuesday, after the company admitted that 11 million vehicles worldwide run software that cheat local emissions tests. It also took a $7.3 billion charge against earnings and said there may be more to come. Winterkorn’s fate as the CEO of Volkswagen is in doubt but the company has said reports of his imminent firing are “nonsense.” The full board is expected to decide on Winterkorn’s future at a meeting on Friday.

3. U.S. economic data.

Get ready for updates on both manufacturing and housing data today, giving insight into the health of the U.S. economy. The preliminary U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for September will be released by financial data firm Markit at 9:45 a.m. ET. The index is expected to have remained steady month-over-month at 53.0–any reading above 50.0 represents an expansion. Prior to that at 7 a.m. ET, the Mortgage Bankers’ Association will reveal its mortgage application activity, which will provide insight into the demand for home purchases.

4. Turing backs down over Daraprim pricing

Turing Pharmaceuticals, which raised the price of a drug 5,500% practically overnight says it will now lower its price following an intense backlash from the media, medical profession and the general public. Turing Pharmaceuticals founder Martin Shkreli confirmed the price cut to NBC News on Tuesday but did not say how much the company would reduce the cost of Daraprim.

5. Yogi Berra is dead, aged 90

Legendary baseball catcher and coach Yogi Berra has died, aged 90. The man who remains the only player ever to catch a perfect game in a World Series leaves a legacy to the English language almost as big as the one he leaves to the game. He came to a fork in the road, and took it.

Additional reporting contributed by Reuters.