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Russian Jet and Hollande Heads to DC — 5 Things to Know Today

Warplane crashes in Syria near Turkeys borderWarplane crashes in Syria near Turkeys border
The incident is a reminder of how complicated the multi-vector war in Syria and Iraq is. Photograph by Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Hello friends and Fortune readers.

Wall Street stock futures are lower this morning after news that Turkey shot down a Russian warplane that it said violated its airspace en route to bomb targets in Syria (more below). There has been little reaction on the currency markets, where the dollar is pretty much unchanged against the euro, but crude oil futures have risen to over $42 a barrel as the geopolitical risk from the conflict ratchets up.

Today’s must-read story is by Fortune’s Stephen Gandel on investors’ doubts that the massive Pfizer (PFE) and Allergan (AGN) merger is a done deal. The tax inversion agreement, worth about $160 billion, would be the biggest this year if it gets the final go-ahead. Read more here.

Here’s what else you need to know today.

1. Russian bomber shot down by Turkey after alleged airspace violation.

Turkey said its military shot down a Russian warplane after it violated its airspace en route to bomb targets in Syria, in a move that seems likely to inflame regional rivalries and complicate any efforts by the international community to focus on the destruction of Islamic State (Da’esh). Russia’s Defense Ministry said the plane had stayed in Syrian airspace all along. The plane had been bombing an area where there is no recorded Islamic State presence, but rather rebel groups backed by the West and Saudi Arabia. It crashed in woodland on the Syrian side of the border.

 

2. Volkswagen shares surge after positive update from CEO.

Volkswagen AG’s shares surged to their highest level since the scandal over its doctoring of emissions data on its diesel vehicles broke in late September. Bloomberg reported chief executive Matthias Müller as telling executives that German regulators had approved a relatively simple and cheap plan to fix its smaller engines, which account for over 90% of its affected vehicles in Europe. However, the company has been forced to admit that it had installed illegal software to mask actual emissions levels in more vehicles in the U.S. than it initially said. The new admissions related to most Audi models in the U.S. since the 2009 model year, as well as VW Touaregs and Porsche Cayennes from 2013 onwards.

3. Hewlett-Packard reports its final full-results as combined company.

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) officially split off its two business units on Nov. 1, dividing into a higher growth enterprise unit and a legacy printer and PC business. It will report its fourth-quarter results for a final time as a combined company. The printer and PC business likely surpassed analysts’ expectations due to cost-cutting and a brisk PC market. Meanwhile, the enterprise division, which is supposed to meet high growth goals, likely disappointed.

4. Update on U.S. growth.

Updated numbers for gross domestic product over the third-quarter will be released today by the U.S. Commerce Department. The agency previously reported that GDP expanded at a 1.5% rate last quarter but is expected to revise that number up to about 2.1%, according to Reuters data. The boost is a credit to stronger consumer spending that previously estimated.

5. French President Hollande visits the White House.

French President Francois Hollande will meet with U.S. President Barak Obama at the White House today to discuss the state of terror in Europe and the allied response following the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris on Nov. 13. Obama and Hollande will also discuss how to handle Russia’s involvement in battling ISIS and the ongoing sanctions against the country for its aggressions in Ukraine.

Additional reporting contributed by Reuters.