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JC Penney Retreats Before Equity Offering; Three Days Until Government Hits Borrowing Limit

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Congress isn't budging on the debt celiing debate.

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After ending the longest losing streak of the year last week, stocks are falling again as investors brace for a looming government shutdown.

The government released data on consumer spending and personal income for August that met expectations. Personal income rose 0.4% month-over-month and consumer spending rose 0.3%.

Later this morning we will see the final print of the Reuter's/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment index for this month. The index is expected to rise 1.2 points to 78.

Before the opening bell, Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were down 0.34% at 15,209. Futures on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) fell 0.41% to 1,685.60 and Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures declined by 0.38% to 3,213.75.

The US Senate will vote on a budget today, just three days before the government's authority to borrow money runs out. Republicans released a laundry list of right-wing demands in exchange for not letting the government hit the debt ceiling. If this happens, federal workers could be furloughed and services such as postal delivery would be cut, reducing gross domestic product for the largest economy drastically.

Nike (NYSE:NKE) shares jumped 6.9% this morning after reporting earnings for the first quarter that beat expectations. The athletic-wear company earned $0.86 per share on $6.92 billion in revenue.

JC Penney (NYSE:JCP) recovered midday yesterday on reports that it will not need to issue new stock this year. Today, the struggling retailer sank by 7.39%, falling back below the $10 mark after announcing that it will issue 96.6 million shares of common stock in a public offering to raise almost $1 billion.

Silicon Valley scoop machine Kara Swisher of AllThingsD (NYSE:NWS) reported today that Ford (NYSE:F) CEO Alan Mulally is a favorite to be crowned as Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) next CEO. Her sources say that despite Ford's denial that he is looking for a high-profile exit, Mulally is likely to succeed Steve Ballmer. Former Nokia (NYSE:NOK) CEO Stephen Elop is another top candidate. Mulally has a reputation as an outstanding turnaround expert. He is credited to leading Ford back from the brink in 2006.

International shares were also lower. Japanese and European indices were in the red. Despite radical anti-deflation moves by the Japanese government, CPI only rose slightly in August. Year-over-year inflation was at a five-year high of 0.9%, up from 0.7% in July, but excluding food and energy, prices actually fell 0.1%. Italian stocks led Europe down amidst drama in the parliament. Silvio Berlusconi's supporters will leave government if he is expelled following his tax fraud conviction.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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