NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were pointing to a lower opening Thursday despite a modestly positive labor report that followed President Obama's warning to Wall Street that investors should be concerned about the government shutdown and impending debt ceiling debate.
Thursday marked the third day of the so-called partial government shutdown, in which Congress failed to pass legislation to fund previously approved expenditures. Non-excepted, or "non-essential," federal employees remained on furlough without immediate pay. President Obama on Wednesday told CNBC that Wall Street should be "concerned" that Congress has yet to forge an agreement to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling, which the Treasury Department expects to reach on Oct. 17. The government would no longer be able to pay creditors for obligations lawmakers approved in previous sessions.
The Labor Department on Thursday said claims totaled 308,000 for the week ended Sept. 28, as the prior week's claims were revised slightly higher to 305,000. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting claims of 313,000. The four-week moving average dipped to 305,000 claims.
Investors were anticipating factory orders for August, but that report could be delayed because of the shutdown. The Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing index for September is to be issued at 10 a.m. Analysts are expecting the index to hit 57.4, which would be slightly lower than the previous month reading of 58.6.
In company news, BlackBerry (BBRY) shares were rising 0.75% to $8.02 in premarket trading after a Wall Street Journal report said private-equity group Cerberus Capital Management is seeking a confidentiality agreement to allow access to BlackBerry's financial information to make a new bid for the smart-phone producer.
United Technologies (UTX) announced it may furlough more than 5,000 U.S. workers if the shutdown continues into November. The company said it expects some 2,000 employees who construct Black Hawk helicopters to be furloughed on Monday, and that the total could rise to 4,000 by next week on furloughs for its Pratt & Whitney and UTC Aerospace Systems division.
-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.
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