Dow Futures Drop With All Eyes on Congress

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.

Congress failed to reach a budget deal over the weekend, ensuring that the government will come uncomfortably close to the Oct. 17 deadline that the Treasury Department has named as critical to extending the debt ceiling. That has markets on edge this morning, and according to stock index futures as of 7:15 a.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average  will start the week significantly lower, falling by 106 points at the opening bell.

Global finance leaders, in Washington for meetings of the IMF and World Bank this weekend, took the occasion to ask Congress to end its budget standoff. French, Saudi Arabian, and German leaders all warned that even a near-default by the U.S. government would carry huge costs to the world economy. The good news is that talks in Congress are set to continue through the day today.

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

Netflix could be coming to your cable box soon. The streaming company is in talks with cable providers, including Comcast, to potentially make the jump onto their set-top boxes, Bloomberg reports. A deal would quickly expand Netflix's reach while making it easier for subscribers to access the service. In exchange, cable companies would get a popular feature to promote to potential new customers. Netflix stock is up 2.1% in premarket trading.

Sears Holdings shares might dip today after Barron's argued over the weekend that the company could be worth "considerably less than the market assumes." Barron's takes aim at Sears' real-estate portfolio, saying big questions remain over the value of those assets. It also doesn't help that Sears is facing such struggles in turning its operations around, having most recently reported a quarterly loss of $1.83 per share. Shares are down 2% in premarket trading.

Finally, keep an eye on IMAX , which is benefiting from a great run at the box office for Gravity. That movie was tops at theaters in its second weekend, falling just 21% to about $44 million in receipts, including $9 million at IMAX. That's a big enough haul to qualify for IMAX's highest second-weekend movie ever, edging out The Dark Knight Rises, according to Box Office Mojo. IMAX shares are unchanged in premarket trading.

Dividends That Even Congress Can't Mess Up
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Fool contributor Demitrios Kalogeropoulos owns shares of Netflix. The Motley Fool recommends Imax and Netflix. The Motley Fool owns shares of Imax and Netflix. 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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