Stock Futures Move Lower Amid Washington Uncertainties

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were sinking Monday with little economic data to trade on as the government shutdown continued, parts of the global market were closed for public holidays and U.S. politicians continued to negotiations on raising the country's debt limit and reopening the government.

"We believe this foolish game of chicken shows Washington lawmakers have a naïve sense of the economy and global markets," Craig Johnson, a Minneapolis-based senior technical research analyst at Piper Jaffray, said in a note. "We suspect markets will experience heightened volatility this week as the saber-rattling in Washington intensifies ahead of the projected debt ceiling limit being reached on Thursday."

Futures for the S&P 500 were down 13 points, or 11.4 points below fair value, to 1,686, while futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were declining 110 points, or 100.11 points below fair value, to 15,065. Futures for the Nasdaq were slipping 18.5 points, or 19.03 points below fair value, to 3,207.

In company news, Facebook (FB) shares were slipping 1.63% to $48.31 as the social media company purchased Israeli-based analytics company Onavo to help fuel the company's push into getting more out of its terabyte and petabytes of data. The purchase price was not disclosed, though reports have indicated that Facebook spent about $200 million on the acquisition.

Expedia (EXPE) shares were giving up 2.86% to $50.25 after the online travel services company was downgraded to "hold" from "buy" at Deutsche Bank with a $51 price target on concerns about recent management changes at the unit as well as execution issues.

Microsoft (MSFT) was slipping 0.64% to $33.91 as The Wall Street Journal wrote that there have been signs of deep divisions among company directors about the future direction the company should take as they carry out a search for a new CEO. They remain divided on whether the leader should be a product innovator with deep technology experience or one with the proven ability to manage large corporations.

The Federal Reserve's Beige Book anecdotal account of economic conditions across the U.S. is scheduled for Wednesday.

Earnings reports are expected to provide some distraction from the budget stalemate in Washington with key technology and bank earnings out this week. Intel (INTC) and Yahoo! (YHOO) are scheduled to report on Tuesday; IBM (IBM) on Wednesday; Google (GOOG) on Thursday.

Bank earnings this week include Citigroup (C) on Tuesday, Bank of America (BAC) on Wednesday, Goldman Sachs (GS)on Thursday and Morgan Stanley (MS) on Friday.

The FTSE 100 in London was up 0.04% and the DAX in Germany was down 0.22%. The Hong Kong and Japan stock markets were closed for public holidays.

U.S. bond markets were closed for the Columbus Day holiday.

November crude oil futures were falling 49 cents to $101.53 a barrel and December gold contracts were surging $18.20 to $1,286.40 an ounce.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York

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