Stocks seen lower on government shutdown fears

The threat of an imminent government shutdown is foremost on the minds of investors this morning, as currently reflected in U.S. stock index futures. Both the Dow and the S&P 500 are coming off their first weekly losses in four weeks, although the Nasdaq did manage to eke out a small gain to run its weekly winning streak to four. With one trading day left in the month, the major averages are all on track to register solid September gains in what's historically been the weakest month of the year for U.S. stocks.

A busy week for economic numbers gets off to a slow start today, with only the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index of mild interest to investors. That number will be issued at 9:45 a.m. ET. Wall Street is already looking ahead to Friday morning, when the September jobs report will be released.

Boeing (BA) is among our stocks to watch, as budget carrier Norwegian Air grounds a new 787 Dreamliner and demands that Boeing perform repairs. Norwegian said the jet needs fixing after less than 30 days in service.

Sony (SNE) gets a boost from a new Reuters survey showing more U.S. shoppers prefer Sony's soon-to-be-released PlayStation 4 over Microsoft's new entry, the Xbox One. 26 percent of those surveyed said they were likely to buy the PS4, while 15 percent said they would choose the Xbox One.

eBay (EBAY) was unsuccessful in an attempt to get a Department of Justice lawsuit dismissed. The suit involves an agreement between eBay and software maker Intuit (INTU) in which they agreed not to recruit each other's employees.

Republic Airways (RJET) is facing the possible failure of its planned sale of its Frontier Airlines unit. According to Reuters, the sticking point is stalled negotiations between Frontier pilots and prospective buyer Indigo Partners.

Achillion Pharmaceuticals (ACHN) may face pressure in today's session after the FDA declined to lift its clinical hold on the drug maker's experimental hepatitis C treatment even though Achillion addressed the issues noted in a June 29 letter from the agency to the company.