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October 04, 2013 06:27 AM

Friday Morning Business Brief

  • The lack of political progress in ending the partial U.S. government shutdown and dealing with the rapidly approaching debt ceiling deadline is making investors nervous. As a result, the stock market closed down yesterday. The Dow fell 137 points, its biggest decline since Sept. 20. The S&P 500 index dropped 15 and the Nasdaq composite fell 41 points. Based on futures trading, Wall Street appears headed for some gains at this morning's opening.
  • The uncertainty about how long the partial shutdown of the U.S. government will last is beginning to concern international stock markets. Asian stocks were mostly lower. In early trading, markets in Britain and Germany dipped slightly and stocks in France rose a bit. Benchmark crude oil rose, to remain above $103 per barrel. The dollar gained against the euro and the yen.
  • A key government report which traders use to help determine the current state of the U.S. economic recovery is being postponed because of the partial government shutdown. Furloughs at the Labor Department mean employment data for September will not be released today as scheduled.
  • Twitter has unsealed the documents for its planned initial public offering of stock and says it hopes to raise up to $1 billion. The company is also disclosing that it generated $317 million in revenue in 2012 and that it has more than 215 million active users. That compares with Facebook's nearly 1.2 billion and LinkedIn's 240 million. Twitter's moneymaking potential has minted the company with an estimated market value of $10 billion, based on the appraisals of venture capitalists and other early investors. The IPO could value it higher or lower.
  • President Barack Obama is canceling a trip to Asia next week because of the government shutdown. Obama had already shortened the trip from four countries to two. The White House announced earlier in the week that Obama would be unable to visit Malaysia and the Philippines because the partial shutdown of the federal government was impacting personnel needed to set up the stops.
  • Business
  • Economy/Stocks