Futures: Opening Print and S&P Levels to Watch

Blame it on the Democrats or blame it on the Republicans but the stalemate has forced the first US government shutdown in 17 years. Lawmakers failed to agree on a federal budget by the midnight deadline which will start a partial shutdown that will put up to 800,000 federal employees out of work and will shut down some government programs and services.

At 3:00 am CT. the ESU is up 8 handles at 1682.25. For the last two weeks the deadlock has helped push the S&P to its largest losing streak of the year: down five days in a row, and down seven out of the last eight sessions. After shaking all the shorts out during the Fed's no-taper the sellers came back in force.

The Asian markets closed mostly higher and Europe is following suit, with eight of 12 markets up. Today's economic calendar includes six different economic releases; Motor Vehicle Sales, Gallup US ECI, Redbook, PMI Manufacturing Index, ISM Manufacturing Index and Construction Spending.

Welcome to ObamaCare and the government shutdown. As we expected, the S&P futures rallied off the news. With the current shutdown underway this Friday's Labor Department monthly employment report won't be released if the government doesn't reopen in time.

While the shutdown is big, the U.S debt ceiling is a much bigger problem. The world's currencies are backed either directly or indirectly by the U.S. dollar and even the possibility of a U.S. refusal to pay its debts can dampen foreign investment and willingness to buy U.S. bonds. We lean to selling the early rally and then buying the weakness. Like the downside, the ESZ is "packed" with upside buy stops.

As always, use stops and keep an eye on the 10-handle rule. Don't forget to catch MrTopStep on The Closing Print video. We report directly from the SPX pits, wrapping up the day and positioning for trade tomorrow.

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