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Venezuela Drug Bust and SABMiller Reports — 5 Things To Know Today

Nicolas Maduro, President of Venezuela, addresses the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New YorkNicolas Maduro, President of Venezuela, addresses the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York

Hello friends and Fortune readers.

Wall Street stock futures are lower after disappointing earnings from some European corporates and a second-straight drop in Eurozone industrial output in September which, at 0.3% on the month, was bigger than analysts had expected. The figures along with more doveish guidance from ECB President Mario Draghi, drove the euro below $1.07 for the first time in six months. Crude oil futures have also slipped to a two-month low below $43 a barrel on continuing fears about oversupply in a slowing world economy.

Today’s must-read story is from Fortune‘s Cyrus Sanati and it argues that Wednesday night’s GOP primary debate revealed a lack of actual fiscal conservatism among that party’s candidates.

Here’s what else you need to know today.

1. U.S. arrests two members of Venezuelan President for drug-smuggling

U.S. law enforcement officials have arrested two relatives of Venezuela’s socialist president, Nicolás Maduro, charging them with conspiracy to bring 800 kilograms of cocaine into the country, The Wall Street Journal reports. The two men are nephews of Maduro’s wife, Cilia Flores. The arrests are another blow to the leadership of the South American country that has fallen into economic chaos this year as the price of oil, almost its only export, has collapsed. The two were arrested in Haiti, and transferred to DEA officials. They are reportedly due before a New York court Thursday.

2. SABMiller: Earnings and AB InBev

Perfect timing. A day after officially agreeing on a $105 billion merger with Anheuser Busch-InBev (BUD), brewing giant SABMiller (SBMRY) said its revenue fell 9% in dollar terms after excise taxes in the first half of its fiscal year, due largely to the fact that the local currencies where most of SABMiller beer is drunk in Africa and Latin American have slumped against the greenback this year. Adjusted for currency swings, net revenue was up 4% year-on-year. The management also raised the half-year dividend by 25%, in what may prove to be a parting gift to shareholders ahead of its merger with ABI.

3. Viacom reports

Like many of its Big Media brethren, Viacom (VIA) has been hurt by declining advertising revenue from its cable television business. As such, the company is expected to report fourth-quarter profit that falls short of analysts’ expectations. Viacom’s stock was one of many in the media industry to drop last week after Time Warner’s (TWX) weak forecast sparked a sell-off amid ongoing industry concerns over the customer shift to online streaming options.

4. Cisco Systems earnings

The network equipment manufacturer is expected to top Wall Street’s forecasts for its first-quarter sales and profit after seeing a rebound in the sales of its computer network switches and routers during that period. Cisco (CSCO) may also talk more about its recent partnership with Ericsson, which it said would create an additional $1 billion in revenue for each company by 2018.

5. Weekly jobless claims

The Labor Department is expected to report a drop in the number of Americans who submitted applications for unemployment benefits last week. The number of claims is expected to have fallen by 6,000, to 270,000, following an increase during the previous week.

 

— Reuters contributed to this post.