Good morning! Here's what you need to know.Markets in Asia were marginally higher, with Japan's Nikkei up 0.1%. European markets were lower across the board, with France's CAC down most at -0.71%. U.S. futures were higher. Day 16 of the government shutdown begins today, and a deal in the Senate is said to be "very close," according to Reuters, though the currently proposed deal might only extend the debt ceiling through Feb. 7 and fund the government through January 15. The measure's fate in the House remained "uncertain." Not much time is left: the debt ceiling will technically be breached tomorrow. Fitch has already made its move: after yesterday's bell, the ratings agency revised its outlook for America to negative from stable. "The prolonged negotiations over raising the debt ceiling (following the episode in August 2011) risks undermining confidence in the role of the U.S. dollar as the preeminent global reserve currency, by casting doubt over the full faith and credit of the U.S.," it said. "This 'faith' is a key reason why the U.S. 'AAA' rating can tolerate a substantially higher level of public debt than other 'AAA' sovereigns."
We get another non-government-borne econ data point today: the National Association of Homebuilders will tell us where their housing market index stands. A reading of 58 is expected, unchanged from last month. It's a big day for financial sector earnings. Bank of America has already reported, coming in in-line at $0.20/share. American Express, Blackrock, BNYMellon, Comerica, PNC, and U.S. Bancorp also report. And we'll also hear from Pepsi ($1.17/share expected). Yahoo earnings and revenue came in in-line after yesterday's bell. Our Jim Edwards says "flat is the new up." He writes, "The takeaway is that it could have been worse: There are a few areas of the business that appear poised for growth, and Yahoo isn't tanking any faster than everyone thought it might be." Fellow tech giant Intel beat on both earnings and revenue. The Wall Street Journal is reporting Apple has cut orders for the new iPhone 5C. The move "raising concerns about weaker-than-expected demand and its pricing strategy for the device." UK jobless claims saw their greatest monthly decline since 1997. September benefits seekers fell 41,700 to 1.35 million, the lowest overall figure since January 2009. The country's unemployment rate remained at 7.7%. Warren Buffett appeared on CNBC this morning, telling Becky Quick that using the debt ceiling as a bargaining chip was the same thing as using it as a "weapon of mass destruction" pointed at the American people. "Finding out when we're out of money is like using poison gas," said Buffett.
The AP scored the first debate between New York City's two remaining mayoral candidates for Democrat Bill de Blasio, saying that despite a strong lead in the polls he issued a frontal attack against Republican Joe Lhota. "The jabs frequently put Lhota on the defensive on a night where he desperately needed to land blows on the front runner. Lhota called de Blasio's line of attack 'unbecoming.' 'You keep talking about me like I'm some sort of national Republican,' said Lhota, who is more moderate than the Tea Party on most issues. 'Don't lump me in with people I'm often in disagreement with.' "
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