Is Congress short the stock market?
Recapping the day's news and newsmakers through the lens of CNBC.
Today's market preoccupation is no surprise, as virtually everyone agonizes over the effects of a possible government shutdown tomorrow. Stocks were down sharply, while volatility measures jumped. The financial markets may have already priced in a partial shutdown, but a government debt default, should it follow in the middle of October, could be devastating. After big gains this year, the stock market may be poised to pull back anyway, and many experts say it's prudent to move some money to the sidelines.
"The slopes of the last three rallies have been very steep, looking more emotionally driven to us than technically or fundamentally driven."—Mark Arbeter, chief technical strategist at S&P Capital IQ
"The blind optimism [that has driven equities] over the last month will evaporate and that makes us nervous about the next four weeks of trading. Trade is going to shift quickly and sporadically."—IG market strategist Evan Lucas, market strategist at IG
"There's enough noise around this, and the debt ceiling is still in front of us, the market won't like it."—Bob Doll, chief equity strategist at Nuveen Asset Management.
"I'm searching for why the market isn't down more, because it just reads real bad."—CNBC's Jim Cramer
It seems like a no-brainer: have an executive from a related industry sit on your board. But beware a relationship regulators might find a little too cozy. That's one of the takeaways from a Justice Department lawsuit accusing eBay and Intuit of having a gentlemen's agreement not to poach each other's employees, an anti-competitive no-no. A judge has refused to dismiss the suit, in which the government says eBay CEO Meg Whitman asked Intuit founder Scott Cook, an eBay director, to stop hiring eBay's tech whizzes. This is just one of several suits alleging mutual back scratching in high tech.
Another kind of gas efficiency
Got a fleet of vehicles? It's time to top off the tanks and fill your pumping stations. Gasoline prices have fallen to an average of $3.40 a gallon, down 20 cents in just a month, for the fastest decline since January. And AAA says the price could drop another 30 cents by the end of the year. Cause: consumption is down and gasoline supplies are more than 10 percent higher than a year ago.
"This drop in gasoline prices should be a tailwind for US consumers toward year's end."—Dave Lutz, head of exchange-traded fund trading and strategy at Stifel Nicolaus
A new reason not to download new Apple iOS
Imagine scoring a touchdown and then being called back for a penalty. That's kind of what's happened to Apple. Its new phones are selling like hotcakes, but Apple's new phone and tablet operating system is giving users motion sickness. It has to do with moving icons that make the eye think the body's in motion while the other senses say it's not. The iOS 7 software upgrade, which applies to many Apple devices, cannot be reversed.
"I just used my phone for about 20 minutes, and now I feel like I'm going to vomit."—An unhappy Apple customer
The $1 million bug sandwich
Want your burger with six or eight legs? In the future of food supply, you might be able to get either "fixin" for your burger and not even realize it. A start-up named Aspire wants to use insect-based protein to help feed millions of hungry people. And there's a precedent for eating bugs, two billion precedents, to be exact. About 2 billion people eat bugs already, but for the most part only when they're in season, a "market flaw" Aspire aims to correct. Bug-based foods can be easily disguised as additives to flour and other more familiar ingredients. Aspire was formed by McGill University students who won this year's $1 million Hult Prize, which challenges MBA students to use social entrepreneurship to address global problems.
"The grasshoppers—if you tried them, you'll know exactly what I mean."—Aspire CEO and grasshopper fan Mohammed Ashour
—By Jeff Brown, Special to CNBC.com