New month begins with government shutdown

October trading kicks off on Wall Street with the government in partial shutdown, after Congress failed to agree on a short-term spending bill. Stocks fell Monday in advance of the anticipated shutdown, although stock index futures are currently pointing to a higher open this morning.

While investors keep an eye on developments in Washington, they'll have several economic reports to consider. The Institute For Supply Management will issue its September Manufacturing Index at 10 a.m. ET, with consensus forecasts calling for a reading of 55.0 compared to 55.7 in August. The government is out with August construction spending at the same time, with economists looking for a rise of 0.5 percent following July's 0.6 percent increase.

U.S. automakers will issue their September sales numbers throughout the morning, with predicting a 3.7 percent drop from year ago levels.

Walgreen (WAG) is among the few companies set to issue quarterly earnings this morning, with the drug store chain expected to report at 7:30 a.m. ET.

Paychex (PAYX) is among our stocks to watch this morning, with the payroll services provider reporting fiscal first quarter profit of 44 cents per share, one cent above estimates.

Cisco Systems (CSCO) chief executive John Chambers will see his pay rise 80 percent to $21 million for 2013, according to an SEC filing.

Wells Fargo (WFC) has agreed to an $869 million settlement with Freddie Mac over claims related to mortgages that it sold to the mortgage financing provider. The agreement includes a $780 million cash payment.

Walt Disney (DIS) and DISH Network (DISH) agreed to a short term extension of their current carriage agreement, in hopes of working out a longer term deal.

Google (GOOG) may be closer to settling its European Union antitrust case, with the EU's top competition regulator saying Google's latest offer to modify its search engine puts the case on track for a successful conclusion. (AMZN) plans to hire 70,000 full time workers for the holiday season, up from last year's total of 50,000 workers.

A JPMorgan Chase (JPM) insider has provided a large amount of information to the Justice Department's probe of mortgage securities sales at the bank, according to the Wall Street Journal. The report did not say who the insider was or whether that insider is still employed at the bank.

Berkshire Hathaway (BRKb) will convert financial crisis-era warrants into shares of Goldman Sachs (GS) today. Under the deal, Berkshire can buy about 43.5 million Goldman shares at $115 per share.

Wal-Mart (WMT) is opening two new distribution centers that will fulfill online orders. One of the centers is in Fort Worth, Texas, the other in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Diamond Foods (DMND) reported fourth quarter profit of nine cents per share, excluding certain items, compared to forecasts for a breakeven quarter. However, it expects to face significant sales headwinds in the current quarter because of a smaller walnut supply and the relaunch of its Emerald brand.