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MarketWatch for Monday, October 7, 2013

If you're keeping on top of the stock markets this morning, Monday, October 7, 2013...
If you're keeping on top of the stock markets this morning,  Monday, October 7, 2013...

The Nikkei fell 171 points today in Tokyo.
On Wall Street, the Dow finished up 76 points Friday.
And the Nasdaq gained 33.

Wall Street remains focused on Washington and not just the shutdown.  The bigger concern for investors, is the debt ceiling debate. If congress fails to raise the country's debt limit by October 17th, the U.S. will not be able to pay its bills. That could freeze the credit markets, send interest rates up and push the economy back into a recession.

Despite Friday's modest stock gains, the trend for the last three weeks in the stock market has been lower. The Dow is down nearly 3 percent since hitting an all-time high on Ssept. 18.   Many economists believe all the political uncertainty makes it very unlikey the federal reserve will taper its economic stimulus program at its meeting this month. 

Investors will turn their attention to earnings now that the government won't be releasing economic reports because of the shutdown. On the calendar this week,  Yum Brands, which owns KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell and Alcoa.

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