Oct 17 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index pointed to a lower open on Thursday as investors looked beyond Washington's last-minute debt default deal and focused on the effects of the 16-day government shutdown and prospects of a re-run next year.
* The U.S. Congress on Wednesday approved an 11th-hour deal to end a partial government shutdown and pull the world's biggest economy back from the brink of a historic debt default that could have threatened financial calamity.
* UnitedHealth Group Inc said that its third-quarter profit rose about 1 percent, helped by the enrollment of an additional 275,000 people in its health insurance plans.
* Goldman Sachs Group Inc's quarterly profit fell 2 percent as weak bond-trading volumes hit revenue in the Wall Street bank's biggest business.
* Verizon Communications Inc posted quarterly revenue slightly ahead of Wall Street expectations as it added customers to its wireless business.
* Medical products maker Baxter International Inc reported a 7 percent fall in third-quarter earnings, hurt by charges related to its $4 billion acquisition of Swedish dialysis products company Gambro AB.
* Canada stock futures traded down 0.09 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were mixed around -0.35 percent to 0.05 percent
* European shares, were down
COMMODITY PRICE MOVES
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 288.1644; was unchanged
* Gold futures : $1,307.2; rose 1.97 percent
* US crude : $101.7; fell 0.58 percent
* Brent crude : $110.05; fell 0.49 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $7,204.75; fell 0.76 percent
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Air Canada and Westjet Airlines : BMO raises price target to C$6 from C$5; rating outperform and price target to C$26 from C$23; market perform respectively as cost trends appear favorable and valuations remained inexpensive.
* Enerplus Corp : RBC raises to outperform; price target to C$22 from C$20 on the company's operating momentum, relative valuation and improved capital discipline.
* SNC-Lavalin : CIBC cuts price target to C$48 from C$50; rating sector outperformer after the company reduced net income guidance.
ON THE CALENDAR
* Major Canadian economic data includes Canadian and foreign securities
* Major U.S. events and data includes initial and continuing claims