Dow Futures Fall as Debt Default Prospects Rise

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

According to stock index futures as of 7 a.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average will open significantly lower, falling by 120 points at the start of trading. An unprecedented national debt default looks more likely this morning after political leaders talked past each other over the weekend.

House Speaker John Boehner told ABC news that the nation was on a path toward default if President Obama didn't concede to negotiations. For its part, the administration said Congress was "playing with fire" by refusing to raise the debt ceiling quickly. Regardless of the specific demands, the bad news is that the debt ceiling issue has apparently become wrapped up in the contentious government shutdown debate, making it less likely that either problem will be solved quickly.

With those bigger trends in mind, here are a few individual stock stories to watch for in today's market.

Boeing could see active trading today after rival Airbus muscled into one if its key markets. Airbus landed a first-ever order from Japan Airlines worth more than $9 billion. Boeing has dominated the Japanese market for decades, most recently boasting an 80% market share. However, that dynamic looks set to change since the company struggled to deliver its Dreamliner aircraft on time and free of technical issues. Boeing's stock is down 1.4% in premarket trading.

Outside the Dow, shares could see selling pressure after Barron's argued over the weekend that the stock looks expensive, even assuming it manages to meet Wall Street's growth expectations for the coming years. A 10% annual return on the stock from here would require 20% sales growth in each of the next four years, but it could still leave shares richly priced at more than 40 times earnings in 2016, according to Barron's. Amazon shares are down 1.1% in premarket trading.

Finally, Warren Buffett's investments from the financial-crisis days have netted his company a cool $10 billion, according to a tally from The Wall Street Journal. The Berkshire Hathaway CEO reached that mark last week after Mars paid back a 2008 loan with $4.4 billion. Still, Buffett maintains that you didn't need billions in the bank to profit during those down days. "In terms of simple profitability, an average investor could have done just as well investing in the stock market if they bought during the panic period," he said in an interview. That's fine advice for investors, particularly as volatility looks set to spike over the coming days.

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Fool contributor Demitrios Kalogeropoulos owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway. The Motley Fool recommends and Berkshire Hathaway. The Motley Fool owns shares of and Berkshire Hathaway. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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