- 'Octaper' off the table, says analyst
- 'This isn't some damn game', says Boehner
- Facebook to begin running ads on Instagram
Dow Jones: 0.51%
S&P 500: 0.68%
US markets were registering moderate gains by mid-morning trade in New York as an absent jobs report and the ongoing shutdown attracted bargain hunters after some earlier falls this week.
Since the partial shutdown of the US government has extended into its fourth day, governmental agencies and departments will not be releasing economic data as scheduled, while politicians continue to wrangle over the budget and the crucial debt ceiling limit.
"The jobs report is arguably the best indicator of economic health and I have no doubt that the previous report, which showed fewer jobs being added in August, along with downward revisions to previous figures, contributed greatly to the Fed's decision to delay the taper," said Market Analyst Craig Erlam from Alpari.
"With this in mind, the fact that the jobs report will not be released until after the government reopens surely takes the 'Octaper' off the table."
However, he pointed out that the October monetary policy meeting doesn't take place until the end of the month "so the government still has plenty of time to pass a budget".
Budget talks continue
Markets are hoping that Congress will agree to raise the $16.7tn debt limit by the October 17th deadline to prevent the US government defaulting on its obligations, something that the Treasury Department said could have a "catastrophic effect" on all aspects of the US economy. It said in a report on Thursday that a default could lead to "events of the magnitude of late 2008 or worse".
Meanwhile, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde said failure to raise the debt ceiling would do damage to the global economy: "The government shutdown is bad enough, but failure to raise the debt ceiling would be far worse, and could very seriously damage not only the US economy, but the entire global economy."
Comments from House Speaker John Boehner continue to be in focus after he said he would not allow a default and would consider using a combination of Republican and Democratic votes to lift the debt ceiling if needed. Speaking today he called for both sides to "sit down" and negotiate, saying "this isn't some damn game".
"I don't believe we should default on our debt [...] If we are going to raise the amount of money we can borrow, we ought to do something about our spending problem and lack of economic growth."
Facebook jumps on Instagram ad plan
Facebook jumped after the social network said it would sell advertising on its Instagram photo service. "Seeing photos and videos from brands you don't follow will be new, so we'll start slow," the company said in a blog post.
Union Pacific Corp. slumped after the railroad operator's earnings forecast missed analysts' projections.
Tesla Motors rebounded after some recent heavy falls following a fire in one of the electric-car maker's vehicles raised questions about safety.