Debt ceiling, earnings on agenda

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Today's calendar features key earnings and some economic events of moderate importance, but politics remain the key catalyst.

Senators are expected to meet at 11 a.m. ET in hope of finding an agreement to raise the federal debt ceiling. A successful deal would likely spur confidence and draw buyers to the market, while continued delay could trigger selling.

Financial titan Citigroup, health-care blue-chip Johnson & Johnson and beverage giant Coca-Cola all report before the opening bell. Railroad CSX, semiconductor maker Intel, and Internet heavyweight Yahoo follow in the afternoon.

The first economic report comes from Germany, where the country's Zew Institute will release its monthly economic-sentiment index early in the morning. The New York Federal Reserve follows with its Empire manufacturing Index at 8:30 a.m. ET. Forecasters expect a reading of 4.5, down from 6.3 in September. While the number seldom affects broader sentiment, it provides color on the direction of the economy.


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