U.S. stock futures were barely moving ahead of the opening bell.
Tuesday is also the start of third-quarter earnings season, with results due after the closing bell from aluminum producer Alcoa (Fortune 500), along with , Yum! Brands (Fortune 500), the parent of , KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.
But investors will likely remain focused on the debt drama playing out in Washington.
"Earnings, I expect they're going to take a backseat as the impasse overshadows," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital. "We're probably going to tread water as we get closer to the Oct. 17 date [a critical debt ceiling deadline]."
U.S. stocks fell Monday on the continuing political standoff.
Despite heated posturing, many hope and expect the Democrats and Republicans will be able to reach a last-minute agreement to raise the debt ceiling and avoid a default.
European markets were all moving lower in morning trading, led by declines in London's FTSE 100, while Asian markets ended with gains. The Shanghai Composite index jumped by 1% after investors returned from a long holiday.
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