U.S. stocks are essentially treading water as investors await an outcome to the dispute that's shut down the government. Stocks are coming off an essentially flat session, as measured by the S&P 500, although the Dow and S&P 500 both posted their 8th day of losses in 10 sessions on Wednesday. Despite a late afternoon meeting at the White House between President Obama and Congressional leaders, no end to the shutdown appears to be in sight.
The government shutdown has partially cut off the economic stat spigot, but we will see the Labor Department's weekly report on initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists are looking for 314,000 new claims for the week ending September 28, compared to 305,000 the prior week.
At 10 a.m. ET, the Institute For Supply Management is out with its non-manufacturing index for September. That measure of the U.S. services economy is seen dropping to 57.0 from August's 58.6.
At 10:30 a.m., the Energy Department will release its weekly look at natural gas inventories.
Constellation Brands (STZ) is one of the few companies with earnings reports on the calendar for today, with the spirits producer set to release quarterly numbers at 7:30 a.m. ET.
Facebook (FB) is among our stocks to watch, with the company announcing an alliance with Cisco Systems (CSCO) to integrate Facebook Wi-Fi into Cisco routers. The launch is aimed at businesses who can then allow their customers to check in on Facebook more easily.
United Technologies (UTX) will furlough 2,000 workers on October 7 and may add 3,000 to that total if the government shutdown continues. The immediate furloughs will take place at the company's Sikorsky Aircraft unit, which produces the Black Hawk helicopter.
Tesla (TSLA) shares remain on watch, after tumbling Wednesday on news of a fire that destroyed a Tesla vehicle near Seattle. Investigators now say the fire began in the battery pack.
BP (BP) won a favorable ruling from a federal appeals court, which revived the oil company's claims that a judge misinterpreted the settlement related to the 2010 oil spill. BP had maintained that interpretation would result in billions of dollars in false or inflated claims by businesses.
General Electric (GE) will float a majority stake in GE Money Bank, its Swiss consumer finance unit, and will rename the unit Cembra Money Bank after the IPO.
Google (GOOG) has purchased Flutter, a startup specializing in gesture recognition technology.
Intel (INTC) has been dropped by Lenovo for that company's new K900 smartphone, with Lenovo choosing to employ a chip made by Qualcomm (QCOM) instead.
Pershing Square's Bill Ackman has covered 40 percent of his massive Herbalife (HLF) short position, according to the fund's latest investor letter.
Angie's List (ANGI) cut membership prices by 75 percent in several key markets, according to the Wall Street Journal.