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Futures fall sharply as US careens toward shutdown

September 30, 2013

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock futures slumped Monday as the federal government careened toward a partial shutdown.

The Senate will reconvene just 10 hours before a shutdown would be initiated and there is little evidence of a thaw between the Senate and conservative Republicans in the House who are attempting to derail President Barack Obama’s signature health care law

The Dow Jones industrial futures fell 144 points to 15,051. S&P futures gave up 15.6 points to 1,670.80, and the index could see its first back-to-back trading days below 1,700 in three weeks. Nasdaq futures tumbled 30 points to 3,193.

A budget resolution is one of the four huge pivot points in the coming month, with the other three arriving within the next nine trading days.

On Friday, the government releases its jobs report for September. The earnings seasons opens on Oct. 8 when Alcoa reports third-quarter results and on the following day, the U.S. Federal Reserve releases minutes from its most recent meeting.

Given the latest Fed decision to maintain its aggressive monetary policy, perhaps because of political turmoil, even more weight may be given to the thinking of central bank officials.

The fight in Washington is weighing on global markets as well.

In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares slid 0.9 percent to 6,457 while Germany’s DAX fell 1.1 percent at 8,567. The CAC-40 in France fell 1.4 percent to 4,129.

Premier Enrico Letta faces a confidence vote on Wednesday after ministers from Silvio Berlusconi’s center-right bloc pulled out of the five-month government and Milan’s stock exchange tumbled 1.9 percent to 17,310.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock average closed 2.1 percent lower at 14,455.80. Hong’s Hang Seng index fell 1.5 percent to 22,859.86 while South Korea’s Kospi was 0.7 percent lower at 1,074.

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