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Stocks Cautiously Higher As Debt Ceiling Fast Approaches

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Washington continues to hold global stock markets hostage with U.S. futures flat to slightly lower into the open. Yesterday's sharp sell-off coupled with the lack of any statistical direction is expected to keep stock prices under pressure for another day. However, the outside chance for a deal to be struck between Democrats and Republicans has shorts especially sensitive to any developments in Congress. As a result, knee-jerk short-covering to positive news might prevent any aggressive selling pressure in the market.

The expectation for a deal to be reached shortly is evidenced in bond yields which have inched up as much as 4 basis points into today's open. And as the bid into safe-haven assets begins to evaporate, gold is also lower today.

-Dow Jones Industrial down 0.05%

-S&P 500 futures up 0.13%

-Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.23%

SENTIMENT

Nikkei up 0.30%

Hang Seng up 0.89%

Shanghai Composite up 1.08%

FTSE-100 down 0.76%

DAX-30 down 0.09%

PRE-MARKET SECTOR WATCH

(+) Large cap tech: higher

(+) Chip stocks: higher

(+/-) Software stocks: flat

(+) Hardware stocks: higher

(+) Internet stocks: higher

(+) Drug stocks: higher

(+/-) Financial stocks: mixed

(+/-) Retail stocks: mixed

(+/-) Industrial stocks: mixed

(+/-) Airlines: flat

(+) Autos higher

UPSIDE MOVERS:

JCP (+6.74%) Shares have reversed course after falling on news that same store sales fell 4% in September

AGEN (+11.15%) Data from a Phase 3 trial showed GlaxoSmithKline's ( GSK ) malaria vaccine, which contains Agenus' QS-21 Stimulon adjuvant, protected children against malaria for 18 months after the injection.

KERX (+4.38%) FDA has accepted the new drug application for its Zerenix drug to treat elevated serum phosphorus levels, or hyperphosphatemia, in patients with chronic kidney disease on dialysis.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS:

JMBA (-16.18%) Jamba lowered its outlook as the company reported slower consumer spending and increased competition

TWGP (-27.13%) After paying out significant claims due to Hurricane Sandy, the company is considering its strategic options with its lead financial advisor JP Morgan.

MAS (-2.00%) KeyBanc downgrades the stock to Underweight from Hold

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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