* Some progress, but no clear sign of end to fiscal impasse
* Unexpected drop in exports from China weigh on global
* Futures off: Dow 106 pts; S&P 12.8 pts; Nasdaq 19.25 pts
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, Oct 14 Wall Street was set for a lower
open on Monday, focused on events in Washington after weekend
talks between Republicans and Democrats showed some progress but
left alive the risk of a possible U.S. default in three days,
The lack of a definitive agreement was putting pressure on
equities as there were no guarantees an historic debt default
would be avoided. In addition, the government shutdown, entering
its third week, was seen as a drag on the economy.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican leader
Mitch McConnell held talks that Reid later called "substantive."
Reid did not provide details, but his remarks gave some hope
that Congress soon might pass legislation to fund the government
and raise its borrowing authority.
Both the Senate and House are scheduled to be in session on
Monday, even though it is the Columbus Day federal holiday. No
economic data and major earnings were due for Monday.
"Politics will likely dominate the market's outlook in the
short term, so stay abreast of the news out of Washington," said
Tony Venosa, senior options strategist at Schaeffer's investment
Research in Cincinnati, Ohio, in a note to clients.
Also pressuring the market was trade data from China, which
showed an unexpected decrease in exports in September for the
weakest performance in three months. Another set of data showed
Chinese consumer prices rose faster than expected in September.
In company news, Netflix Inc shares rose 3.3
percent at $310.88 after the Wall Street Journal reported that
it is in talks with several U.S. cable television companies,
including Comcast Corp and Suddenlink Communications to make its
streaming video service available through their set-top boxes.
S&P 500 futures fell 12.5 points and were below fair
value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account
interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the
contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 106
points and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 19.25 points.
U.S. stocks had risen strongly ahead of the weekend on hopes
a deal to raise the $16.7 trillion federal borrowing limit was
near. Failure to raise the debt ceiling would leave the world's
biggest economy unable to pay its bills in the coming weeks.
International Monetary Fund managing director Christine
Lagarde, speaking in Washington, warned of "massive disruption"
to the global economy if the U.S. debt ceiling, which will be
reached on Thursday, was not lifted.