The final push for the oval office underway, Vice President Joe Biden hitting the trail for Hillary Clinton. Well, the man that hopes to

WITH-MARIA-03

MARIA-03

Biden hitting the trail for Hillary Clinton. Well, the man that hopes to

take his job, Governor Mike Pence defended his running mate. We have the

very latest on the race to the White House coming up this half an hour;

The president, meanwhile, making a final push for Obamacare, why he's

calling for a public option even after hedging against it years ago;

Earnings driving the action on Wall Street today, McDonald's reporting

third quarter earnings earlier this hour, beating expectations on revenue

and earnings. - Part 1>

Shapiro, Dagen McDowell>

Emanuel, Leonore Hawkins, Kat Timpf>

Business; Stock Markets; Donald Trump; Hillary Clinton; Barack Obama;

Obamacare; British American Tobacco; GE; Al Smith Dinner; Mosul; NSA;

Harold Martin; Nike; Parkinson's Research; St. Eriks>

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, CHAIRMAN & PRESIDENT, TRUMP ORGANIZATIONS & REPUBLICAN PARTY NOMINEE, 2016 ELECTION: A campaign like Clinton's --

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Said you can choose as qualified a person who has ever run to lead this country.

TRUMP: A campaign like Clinton's, that will incite violence is truly a campaign that will do anything to win. And a candidate like crooked Hillary Clinton who will lie to Congress, destroy 33,000 e-mails is a candidate who is truly capable of anything.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MARIA BARTIROMO, HOST, MORNINGS WITH MARIA: We are following the very latest as the candidates hit the swing states this morning. We're taking a closer look at the key down-ballot races today.

An American service member has been killed in Iraq. The details as the battle for Mosul claims its first U.S. casualty. A massive data theft at the NSA. The breath-taking amount of secrets that may have been revealed in this decades-long betrayal.

And the president makes his final push for Obamacare. Why he's calling for a public option now. A major deal highlighting an end of the year.

M&A push, the details behind British American Tobacco's $47 billion offer for Reynolds American. Big deal, a lot of deals recently. Earnings action driving the activity on Wall Street this morning.

Earnings this morning, better-than-expected, McDonald's just crossing the tape, beating expectations on both the top and the bottom line.

Company reporting $1.50 in earnings and revenue of $6.42 billion, stock is higher on the news, that is helping this market. General Electric meanwhile under pressure, that's weighing on the broader markets.

GE reported a revenue miss, it also narrowed its guidance for 2016, the rest of the year, as a result that stock is looking lower. In Europe, take a look at the activity, markets relatively flat, although you do have gains in London.

The FT 100 up about a third of a percent right now. And in Asia overnight, stocks were mixed, a typhoon in Hong Kong causing the closing of the Hong Kong stock market.

The Hang Seng index as you see there, closed, the other averages just fractionally moving. Nike laces up for charity, why they are looking to the past to fight for the future.

All those stories coming up this morning. And joining me to talk about it, Fox Business Network's Dagen McDowell, Tematica Research Chief Macro Strategist Lenore Hawkins with us and "National Review" reporter and Fox News contributor Kat Timpf.

Great show so far ladies --

LENORE HAWKINS, CHIEF MACRO STRATEGIST, TEMATICA RESEARCH: Yes --

DAGEN MCDOWELL, FOX BUSINESS: You -- I don't know how you're doing it because you look phenomenal now, and you look phenomenal last night.

And I know how -- I know how little sleep you've gotten this week and I know how hard you've been working.

BARTIROMO: I understand --

MCDOWELL: So --

BARTIROMO: Right back at you.

MCDOWELL: So, God bless you.

BARTIROMO: Yes --

MCDOWELL: No, but I didn't look -- I will never in my lifetime look as good as you looked last night.

KAT TIMPF, REPORTER, NATIONAL REVIEW: You didn't break Twitter --

MCDOWELL: Not on planet -- not on planet earth will I ever look that good.

TIMPF: Yes, people have been tweeting -- I mean, you want to wear something more like Maria Bartiromo last night --

HAWKINS: OK --

MCDOWELL: Not even with photo-shopping, not even if -- no, put my head on Sofia Loren's body, not happening. We're doing -- we're raising --

BARTIROMO: What a night --

MCDOWELL: The roof for you --

BARTIROMO: What a night, that was a lot of fun. I'm going to tell you about the Al Smith dinner this hour as well. We have this breaking news an McDonald's, the earnings hitting the tape.

Look, I don't know if this means the strength for the consumer, Dagen, but you focus on the consumer a lot, and whether or not we're actually seeing some spending pick up, what do you think?

MCDOWELL: McDonald's is more, it speaks to the broad consumer as well. And in terms of its ability to execute which it has and I know that it's -- I'm kind of going through a revamp right now in terms of trying to continue to win.

And in the fast-food business, you can see -- and again let's point to Microsoft. Microsoft is going to hit potentially when the markets open about an hour and a half from now. A new all-time high, topping that level hit in 1999.

BARTIROMO: Wow --

MCDOWELL: Cloud-computing business is on fire, again, and it's still a fraction of the 31 percent in cloud-computing than Amazon controls at this point. So, there's a lot of room for growth with Microsoft, plus that dividend, very attractive.

BARTIROMO: Good earnings stories this morning --

MCDOWELL: Yes --

BARTIROMO: And not GE, GE missed on revenue, but the other two, McDonald's and Microsoft really ones to watch.

The candidates meanwhile getting back to business this morning. Clinton and Trump both back on the campaign trail after joking last night at the Al Smith dinner. Peter Barnes is in Washington with the very latest there. Peter, good morning to you.

PETER BARNES, FOX BUSINESS: Hey, good morning, Maria. Well, before heading to the Al Smith dinner in New York last night, Donald Trump walk back his statement from Wednesday night's debate that he would not unconditionally accept the outcome of the election -- kind of.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supporters, and to all of the people of the United States, that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election if I win!

(CHEERS)

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BARNES: Now, New York's elite turned out for the Smith dinner later that evening, and let me after all my compliments in here now, Maria, saw you last night and you looked stunning as usual in your red dress and white gloves.

Trump was booed several times in his speech as you heard for calling Clinton corrupt, and saying she was pretending to like Catholics. The event was held to raise $6 million for Catholic charities.

Clinton got in a few barbs of her own.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: People look at the statue of liberty and they see a proud symbol of our history as a nation of immigrants, a beacon of hope for people around the world.

Donald looks to the statue of liberty and sees a four.

(LAUGHTER)

Maybe a five if she loses the torch and tablet and changes her hair.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BARNES: Both candidates back on the campaign trail today, as you said, Trump campaigning in North Carolina and Pennsylvania, Clinton campaigning in Ohio. Maria.

BARTIROMO: You know, I think the boos had to do with the fact that the audience just wasn't in the mood last night for that. You know, they really just wanted to see --

BARNES: Yes --

BARTIROMO: The two of them roast one another. And when he went --

BARNES: Yes --

BARTIROMO: Down this road of where -- what he's talking about on the campaign trail, they got mad.

BARNES: Yes, this is supposed to be a light-hearted evening --

BARTIROMO: Right --

BARNES: A self-deprecating, lots of jokes about each --

BARTIROMO: He did get laughs --

BARNES: Other and --

BARTIROMO: And --

BARNES: Yes --

BARTIROMO: Other parts of the speech, but --

BARNES: Yes, in the --

BARTIROMO: Yes --

BARNES: Beginning, yes --

BARTIROMO: When he turned negative, Dagen, it was not a good thing for him.

MCDOWELL: And I think for both of them, it just was an illustration that comedy is hard. Because they've written -- somebody has written these speeches for them with jokes in them, and both of them struggled to deliver the joke.

BARTIROMO: Yes --

MCDOWELL: That it was still -- a lot -- it was kind of plod -- they were plodding along to both of them --

BARTIROMO: They're not funny --

MCDOWELL: They both need --

HAWKINS: Yes --

MCDOWELL: To -- no, they both need to lighten up.

(LAUGHTER)

Need to lighten up.

BARTIROMO: Well, it's true, what an --

HAWKINS: Yes --

BARTIROMO: Election, I mean, you know --

HAWKINS: Yes --

BARTIROMO: We all need to lighten up probably --

MCDOWELL: He needs a little break --

HAWKINS: For fun --

BARTIROMO: Thank you so much. The twists and turns on the campaign trail continue as politicians across party lines clamor for votes with split- ticket voting and possibility again.

Democrats believe they could flip the Senate back to blue. Trump is visiting Pennsylvania and North Carolina today, two states that he needs which are two of the states that could change.

We'll see about that. Joining us right now is chief political correspondent for the "Washington Examiner", Byron York, Byron, good to see you.

BYRON YORK, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Good morning, Maria.

BARTIROMO: So, let's talk about the down ballots. I mean, will Trump's campaigning help Senators Pat Toomey and Richard Burr for example today?

YORK: That's a really good question because what you see in all of the races where Republicans are vulnerable, you'll -- the Trump factor is the biggest factor in the race.

And every -- everybody who's running for Senate, every Republican running for Senate has had to take a position on Donald Trump. Support him, not support him, kind of support him, and it can be actually difficult.

Pat Toomey and Richard Burr in North Carolina, Toomey in Pennsylvania, two of the most endangered Republicans. Both of them a little bit ahead in the polls right now.

And if they survive, then Republicans probably keep control of the Senate.

BARTIROMO: I guess Trump is a catalyst for voters reconsidering straight- ticket voting.

YORK: Oh, absolutely --

BARTIROMO: Yes --

YORK: I've heard -- I've heard from strategists in the states, who -- Republican strategists who were encouraged by the evidence they see in their focus groups in their research.

That a lot of voters actually do not equate Trump with whoever the Republican candidate is in their state. They kind of separated because they don't really view Trump as a Republican as much.

They view him as Trump. And so, it's entirely possible for them to vote either for or against Trump and then go and vote their preference for a Republican senator.

MCDOWELL: Byron, it's Dagen McDowell. Do you think that the Trump talk about the election being rigged hurts voter turnout for even him?

YORK: Probably not. As a matter of fact, I think you might be able to look at it as the opposite --

BARTIROMO: Wow --

YORK: As kind of Trump's version of get out the vote. He doesn't have the millions that Democrats are spending to physically get voters to the polls, and this is his way of saying, hey, they're trying to steal it, you've got to vote, you've got to vote.

If you listen to Trump's speeches, he always includes a portion in the speech where he says you know election day is everything, I don't care if you're sick, I don't care if you're on your death bed, you've got to get up and vote in this -- in this.

They're trying to steal this election, it's kind of an incentive that Trump is putting out for his own voters.

MCDOWELL: Got you.

TIMPF: Is it an incentive or is he concerned about losing? You know, that does make sense to me that talking point that I keep hearing does make sense.

YORK: Oh, well, it's certainly a rationale for losing and he can say afterwards that it was rigged. But you know, the one thing he said in the speech in Ohio yesterday was that of course I will accept the results of a clear-cut election.

And you know if the polls are correct, and he loses by 7 points, no way to claim that it's rigged. Rigged only --

TIMPF: I think --

YORK: Works in a close election.

TIMPF: I think his supporters still might though.

YORK: Well, look, there have been a lot of Republicans who believe that Democrats were practicing voter fraud over the years. Certainly in 2000 and 2004, you had a lot of Democrats suggesting that Republicans had rigged the election.

There were some Democrats who claim that Karl Rove had personally hacked the electorate voting machines in Ohio in 2004.

So, you get -- you've gotten in a lot of talk on both sides about that. But it really I think will disappear if the election vote is really quite clear-cut.

BARTIROMO: But go through some of these down-ballot races, because look, there is a worry that Republicans will lose the Senate. What action do they need to take to maintain control of the Senate?

You know, the last couple of weeks, we saw a huge market sell-off because investors were afraid that this would be a sweep --

YORK: Yes --

BARTIROMO: President house and Senate on the Dems side.

YORK: Yes, well, first of all, the Republicans now have 54 votes in the Senate. So, if Democrats win 4 seats, pick up 4 seats and it's 50-50, and Hillary Clinton wins, then they would effectively control the Senate because the vice president in this case Tim Kaine would cast the tie- breaking vote for Democrats.

We actually had that situation for a few months in 2001, it was a mess. It was a power-sharing agreement between Republicans Senate was split 50-50. It was resolved when one Republican defected to the Democratic side, gave them a 51 vote majority.

So, Democrats would much rather pick up five. A lot of Republicans are -- think that they probably lost two seats already, Mark Kirk in Illinois, Ron Johnson in Wisconsin.

Those other ones, the endangered seats, Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire, Toomey as we talked about in Pennsylvania, Burr in North Carolina, those are really tough seats for Republicans to defend. If they lose them all, they'd lose the Senate.

BARTIROMO: Wow, all right, Byron, great analysis as always, good to see you.

YORK: Thank you, Maria.

BARTIROMO: Thank you so much, Byron York joining us there. By the way, you can relive all of the excitements from the third and final debate this weekend.

Fox Business Network is re-airing the final presidential show-down Saturday and Sunday night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. So, join us once again as we re-run that special broadcast.

Coming up, has the Affordable Care Act become unaffordable? Many people would say yes. One of the architects behind Obamacare will weigh in on how their Healthcare Act is doing and how to heal it.

Then next, the world's most expensive potato chips, we'll take a serious bite out of your wallet. Why the new snack from a Swedish brewery cost $11 per chip -- what?!

(LAUGHTER)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: Welcome back, some sad news to report. The operation to retake Mosul in Iraq has claimed the life of an American. Cheryl Casone has the details here, Cheryl.

CHERYL CASONE, FOX BUSINESS: Yes, Maria, officials say U.S. service member embedded with Kurdish forces in Iraq was killed when his vehicle ran over a bomb north of Mosul.

He was the fourth service member to die in combat, fighting ISIS in Iraq this week. And this also mark the third combat death for the U.S. military for the month of October.

There are about 300 special operations forces embedded with Iraqi and Kurdish troops in the fight to take back Mosul. In all, around 5,000 American troops are currently stationed in Iraq.

Well, Harold Martin, the former NSA contractor accused of stealing 500 million pages of classified information is going to face espionage charges. That's according to a Justice Department court filing.

Martin was arrested back in August, but the case was kept under seal until earlier this month. Federal prosecutors say that Martin spent decades stealing the records which include top secret information about military operations.

Martin is due in court today for a hearing in that case. Well, a raffle of Nike's back to the future shoes raised $6.8 million for Parkinson's research.

This after people paid $10 for a ticket hoping to win one of the eighty six pairs of the Nike Mag shoes with of course those futuristic self-lacing systems on them.

Nike donating the money it raised from the raffle to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's research. And finally this, and this is a very pricey chip.

Check this one out. A Swedish bakery -- brewery, excuse me, cooked up the most expensive potato chip in the world, $56 for a set of just five. That's a little more than 11 bucks for each chip.

St. Eriks Brewery says it wanted to have a first-class snack to go with its first-class beer. The chips are made with potatoes which are harvested by hand.

They come in five flavors, mushroom, truffle, seaweed and India pale ale. Maria, so far, only a 100 boxes of the sets have been sold. The proceeds all of course going to charity.

And they got a little bit of PR out of it of course.

BARTIROMO: Unbelievable, $11 for a potato chip --

TIMPF: Yes, charity is good --

BARTIROMO: Well --

TIMPF: For $11 --

BARTIROMO: Going to charity --

TIMPF: For a chip --

BARTIROMO: All right, thank you, Cheryl. Coming up next, merger-mania from big tobacco to cable giants. More companies aiming to join forces, what's next and what's behind a flurry of deal proposals we've seen recently.

Also ahead, a bloated Democrat in the battle for Florida. A judge denying a push to verify voters, how the move could sway the election, back in a minute.

(MUSIC)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: Well, it looks like merger-mania is in. British American Tobacco offers $47 billion to acquire the remaining stake of Reynolds American that it doesn't already own.

And there is also a deal being talked about between AT&T and Time Warner this morning as well as Qualcomm and NXP. Want to break it all down right now with Rich Peterson, and he is senior director at S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Rich, it's good to see you.

RICHARD PETERSON, SENIOR DIRECTOR, S&P GLOBAL MARKET INTELLIGENCE: Good morning, Maria, great to be here.

BARTIROMO: So, characterize what you're seeing in deal flow right now. What's your take? Is this -- where are we in terms of --

PETERSON: Well --

(CROSSTALK)

This is the fourth consecutive year which has been over $1 trillion in announced U.S. M&A activity. Though, we're down year-over-year, a year-to- date we're about 1.2 trillion.

A year ago this time about 1.7 trillion. We are taking into my -- last year was a record year, $2 trillion in announced deal activity. The fact is, mentioned about the possible BAT, buying remainder of Reynolds.

That would represent of the top four deals this year. Each of those deals have been (INAUDIBLE) acquisitions of U.S. companies, so, that's an issue that has not even been discussed.

BARTIROMO: So, what's driving that? Is that a currency story driving that or is it specific to each deal that you're talking about.

PETERSON: Well, I think specific to each deal. Because the biggest one is I'll say Bayer, Germany's Bayer buying Monsanto.

But then you also have Canada's Enbridge buying properties here in the United States, in the energy distribution sector.

BARTIROMO: Yes, I'm glad you mentioned that. This story in the journal saying Morgan Stanley stands to collect $120 million if the Bayer deal for Monsanto closes, $57 billion. So "Wall Street" is also really benefiting - -

PETERSON: Well, that segue turns earnings because, you know, financials are the best performing sector in terms of third quarter earnings results, up about 12 percent so far, be the great beat by American Express, the best beat.

I think it's about 7 or 8 years, now that has come true by, you know, buy- backs, through cost-cuts as well as some organic growth. But shows good management over there at AMNEX.

But then also the investment banks have done well, especially Morgan Stanley in terms of fixed income trading, now as we talk about deal activity is helping, you know, fee activity.

BARTIROMO: Exactly.

HAWKINS: How much of the fixed income activity at the banks do you think - - if maybe there's still one-off event that became right after the Brexit vote where everybody had to --

PETERSON: Yes --

HAWKINS: Readjust their portfolios, and that may just be a onetime blip.

PETERSON: Yes, that's a good question. I think, you know, when Morgan Stanley -- and they've had a lot of cut-backs, they can be more efficient and more -- and more rigorous in quest discipline.

I think, you know, Brexit, you know, dropped a lot of opportunity I think if rates go higher in 2017, that may, you know, drive more opportunity.

MCDOWELL: In terms of the overall earnings picture, you've had a large percentage of companies that had beat, and it looks like at least right -- not including this morning, right? That we're going to snap that --

PETERSON: Yes --

MCDOWELL: Four quarters --

PETERSON: Quarters, right, sure --

MCDOWELL: Of declines in earnings --

PETERSON: Yes --

MCDOWELL: Every year --

PETERSON: Yes, the good news is that this is going to be a positive quarter earnings right now. The capital IQ estimates are 0.2 percent, that's the bad news, it's very anemic.

But then you have to exercise energy, energy is a 70 percent negative drag. So if energy -- the improvement, but it's still a modest increase and looking into the fourth quarter of 2016 expectations are 6 percent and the hope is, you know, 2017, as I maybe alluded to earlier.

If you get some sort of bargain to repatriate some of the cash abroad that could be sent for CAPEX and for -- you know, hiring that can help earnings even more.

BARTIROMO: So, go through the sectors, what's doing best this quarter?

PETERSON: Well, you know, financials is about 12 percent, technology about 5 percent, material is 8 percent, the laggards are, I'll say energy, real estate which is the newly reclassified sector of the S&P 500.

Because that may be in fact helping the financials value. You took out all the REIT and property developers, and now you have a more streamlined financial sector.

HAWKINS: And how much of this do you think is because of the financial engineering of all those share buy-back. I mean, it's kind of -- the (INAUDIBLE) and the push-up bra of the financial world where you reduce the number of shares outstanding with these share buy-back.

And so, your earnings per share look a lot better, but it's only because you're dividing by a smaller number.

PETERSON: Yes --

BARTIROMO: By the way, GE raised its buy-back today by $4 billion.

PETERSON: Yes, well, I mean, that's the world we live in. The world we live in is sort of a like a tripod, it isn't just purely organic activity. You know, it's the buy-backs, it's of course containment and also is the growth organically.

BARTIROMO: So, what are you looking at in the fourth quarter? Now, you have a new report out looking at M&A in the fourth quarter.

PETERSON: Yes --

BARTIROMO: Any expectations after the election past? --

PETERSON: Well, I think, there's a lot of uncertainty, and so far going into, you know, we're all in -- not even in one-third of the way through the fourth quarter of this year.

It's not even about 60 billion in announced deals. I think as we get the resolution --

BARTIROMO: Eighteen days away --

PETERSON: Eighteen days away --

BARTIROMO: And counting --

PETERSON: And after November 9th --

BARTIROMO: Yes --

PETERSON: We should see maybe more big deals in technology. I think healthcare could be very interesting because if there's more regulation in 2017.

Some potential buyers may look to make deals now before any changes occur in the next commercial session.

BARTIROMO: That is a good -- that's a good point because if they expect Hillary is going to win and then we see drug -- you know, price caps on --

MCDOWELL: Yes --

BARTIROMO: On drugs, they may be forced to do deals.

PETERSON: And one area like -- even though M&A as mentioned is down year- over-year, one segment's leverage buyer of private equity.

I think, you know, modest active compared to prior years has been about $70-plus billion in LBOs year-to-date compared to about $60 billion a year ago.

So, that's a good sign.

BARTIROMO: So, more private equity deals then sort of standard company over company.

PETERSON: Well, I mean, we had the one a few days ago where, you know, Canada's Onex bought a Midwest growth restore chain, saved a lot.

I think also you have another deal with Vista Equity Partners, fair and active buyer in technology properties.

BARTIROMO: Good stuff, Rich, thank you so much.

PETERSON: Great to be here --

BARTIROMO: Good to see you --

MCDOWELL: Good to see you, Rich --

BARTIROMO: Rich Peterson joining us there. Coming up next, is there a prescription to fix Obamacare? One of the architects of the Affordable Care Act is with us this morning.

And then McDonald's gets a big boost from all-day breakfast earlier this year, but are investors still loving it. We're breaking down the fast-food chain's third quarter numbers and they were better-than-expected, stock is up.

As we take a break, take a look at these pictures in the international space station, three new crew members just coming on board, they include two Russians and one American.

They join three other space station members who have been on the space station since July and are due to return to earth next week, back in a minute.

(MUSIC)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MARIA BARTIROMO, MORNINGS WITH MARIA HOST: Good Friday morning, everybody. Welcome back. I'm Maria Bartiromo. It's Friday, October 21st. Your top stories right now, 8:30 AM on the East Coast, the final push for the oval office underway, Vice President Joe Biden hitting the trail for Hillary Clinton. Well, the man that hopes to take his job, Governor Mike Pence defended his running mate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: The things that Donald Trump is saying and doing is generally a threat to the Democratic process, which is based on trust. Think about what it's no Democratic process can be sustained without a sense of trust.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Of course, we will accept a clear election result. But we also reserve the right to contest or file a legal challenge in the case of questionable results.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BARTIROMO: We have the very latest on the race to the White House coming up this half an hour. The president, meanwhile, making a final push for Obamacare, why he's calling for a public option even after hedging against it years ago. Earnings driving the action on Wall Street today, McDonald's reporting third quarter earnings earlier this hour, beating expectations on revenue and earnings, the stock jumping on the news as you he see there. It's going to open higher. General Electric a different story, that stock under pressure. That's weighing on the broader averages today. G.E. reported earnings that were better-than-expected, but the revenue missed expectations with revenue 29.27 billion, as a result market under pressure. The Dow Jones Industrial average expected to open down 60 points that's a third of a percent, the S&P and the NASDAQ also under selling pressure right now.

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