With no jobs report to trade on, markets instead will bounce off the words of the politicians responsible for shutting down the Labor Department that issues the monthly number.
Friday is day four of markets being held hostage by Washington, as Congress and the White House spar over the spending needed to reopen the government - and the debt ceiling. The government shutdown has resulted in a dearth of economic releases, with everything but the weekly jobless claims release unavailable.
(Read more: Stocks grapple with triple witching of lousy news)
Many traders and analysts were skeptical that the political impasse would come to a government shutdown. But now that it has, trading was jittery Thursday as speculation circulated that the U.S. could now face a worst case scenario, where Congress fails to address the debt ceiling and the country defaults. A jarring warning from Treasury predicting a catastrophic outcome if that happens added to the nervousness Thursday morning.