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Amazon Releases New Tablets; Stocks Sink as Debt Ceiling Fears Rise

Posted
9/25/2013 8:46:00 AM
By: Minyanville
Referenced Stocks:AMZN;CCL;MS;MSFT;RCL

Stocks are set to decline for the fifth straight day today as Congress fails to strike a budget deal.

In a replay of summer 2011, fears of another government shutdown are high. Yesterday, as Senators prepared a stopgap measure to keep the government operating for another few months, Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas spoke from the afternoon into the night, even reading Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham to protest any government funding bill that includes a dime for the Affordable Care Act.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said yesterday that investors are more confident than they should be about a government shutdown. The two parties have until next week to hammer out a deal.

Before the opening bell, Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were off 0.10% at 15,271 while futures contracts on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) sank 0.15% to 1,689.90. Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures fell 0.09% to 3,210.50.

This morning, the government reported that durable goods orders in August were better than expected. New orders increased by 0.1% after plunging 8.1% in July. Economists expected a 0.5% drop. Excluding transportation, orders fell 0.1%. Later today, new home sales in August are projected to rebound to an annualized rate of 425,000 after plunging the most in three years to 394,000 in July.

Carnival ( CCL ) dropped 4.2.% in pre-market trading after the company said that fourth-quarter results could range from a loss of $0.03 to a $0.03 profit, missing estimates of a $0.09 profit. Carnival, still working to improve after February's disastrous fire aboard a cruise, was downgraded by Morgan Stanley ( MS ) to underweight from equal weight. Carnival's earnings warning also took down competitor Royal Caribbean Crusies ( RCL ), which lost 1.14% this morning.

Amazon ( AMZN ) could see heavy trading since it announced new versions of the Kindle Fire tablet computer. In the pre-market, shares are up 0.25%.

Bill Gates ruled out returning to his role as CEO of Microsoft ( MSFT ). The founder maintains that he wishes to continue his charity work full-time.

Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) is due to report earnings today after the bell. The home-products retailer's profits and revenue are projected to rise along with the housing market. Analysts expect earnings of $1.15 per share on $2.81 billion in revenue.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett