Retail data, debt ceiling on agenda

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Retailers report monthly sales today, though the looming debt ceiling remains the biggest item on the agenda.

The numbers will come early in the session from companies such as Gap, L Brands, Buckle, Walgreen, and Costco.

Jobless claims may be released partially at 8:30 a.m. ET. The numbers mostly come from state agencies, but the federal Labor Department is closed as politicians remain at loggerheads over the federal budget. Economists expect a reading of 318,000, up from 308.000 last week.

More important is the country hitting its borrowing capacity when the debt ceiling is reached around Oct. 17. A failure to raise the limit could trigger panic in the broader market, so it remains the most important potential catalyst.

Micron Technology and Safeway also report earnings after the closing bell.

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