US STOCKS-Futures edge higher, shutdown still in focus

Reuters

* Shutdown enters fourth day, investors watch debt ceiling

* Dow, S&P 500 on track for second straight week of losses

* Payroll report will not be released because of shutdown

* Futures up: Dow 6 pts, S&P 4.6 pts, Nasdaq 1.1 pt

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, Oct 4 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures edgedmodestly higher on Friday, indicating a rebound after a seriesof losses, though the uncertain outcome of a partial U.S.government shutdown, now in its fourth day, continued to worryinvestors.

* The S&P 500 has fallen for nine of the past 11sessions, with the losses driven by a budget stalemate inCongress that has closed the government since midnight Monday.

* The shutdown appeared likely to drag on for another weekor more, with little sign of progress towards a solution.Investors are also watching the situation for how the upcomingdebate over the debt ceiling might play out.

* While a short-term closure was expected to have a modesteconomic impact, the effect is expected to become morepronounced the longer it lasts. Dennis Lockhart, president ofthe Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, said the shutdown wouldhurt growth in the last quarter of this year, while the Bank ofJapan warned that a prolonged budget standoff would have asevere global impact.

* The debt ceiling issue is considered more severe, as itcould result in a default on U.S. debt if no resolution isreached to increase it. On Thursday, the New York Times reportedthat House Speaker John Boehner told colleagues he would not letthe United States default on its debt.

* S&P 500 futures rose 4.6 points and were above fairvalue, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into accountinterest rates, dividends and time to expiration on thecontract. Dow Jones industrial average futures added 6points and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 1.1 point.

* While shutdown concerns have pressured equities over thepast two weeks, the S&P 500 index has frequently foundsupport at its 50-day moving average of 1,679.84, though itclosed slightly under that level on Thursday.

* For the week, the Dow is down 1.7 percent and the S&P hasslipped 0.8 percent for a second week of losses for bothindexes, while the Nasdaq has shed 0.2 percent.

* The CBOE Volatility Index, a measure of investoranxiety, jumped as high as 18.71 on Thursday, its highest sincelate June. The VIX had jumped 160 percent to 42.96 in the thirdquarter of 2011 as the S&P 500 index fell 14 percent, thebiggest retreat since 2008.

* Government economic data has been delayed because of theshutdown, and the September payroll report will not be releasedat 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT) as had been scheduled. About 180,000jobs were expected to have been added in September, up from 169,000 added in the previous month.

* Twitter Inc gave potential investors their first glance atits financials on Thursday when it publicly filed documents forits initial public offering. The information showed that revenueat the social networking company almost tripled in 2012, thoughit posted a loss in the first half of 2013.

* Union Pacific Corp late Thursday gave athird-quarter earnings outlook that was below expectations, hurtas flooding in Colorado weighed on coal shipments.

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