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October 9, 2013  Wed 2:45 AM CT

SPX: SEE CHART GET CHAIN FIND STRATEGIES
The earnings calendar begins to pick up today, but the political standoff in Washington increasingly dominates market sentiment.

Costco, Fastenal, Family Dollar, and Progressive all report quarterly results before the opening bell. Germany is also scheduled to announce industrial production early in the session.

The main U.S. economic event will be the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting at 2 p.m. ET. While the Fed's actions had been investors' main concern recently, their policy decisions will likely be trumped by the government shutdown and risk of a payments crisis later this month.

Lawmakers and the White House remain deadlocked over the national budget, raising questions about their ability to raise the national debt ceiling as needed by Oct. 17. Markets fell sharply yesterday after leaders held competing press conferences, standing their ground without offering any apparent concessions to the other side.

Tomorrow's agenda includes monthly same-store sales by retailers, plus earnings from Micron Technology and Safeway in the afternoon. Attention shifts to big banks on Friday morning as JP Morgan and Wells Fargo report. The financial focus continues into next week with quarterly results from Citigroup on Tuesday, Bank of America on Wednesday, and Goldman Sachs on Thursday.
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