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It's the Economy ...

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The Dow industrials closed yesterday at 11718.45, "their second-highest close on record and short of a closing level investors haven't seen since Jan. 14, 2000, when the blue-chip average closed at 11722.98 at the height of the dot-com bubble." 

In an interview yesterday with the Wall Street Journal, Bush "said he would speed up his alternative-energy push during the remainder of his term with new spending focused on easing bottlenecks that are slowing the spread of ethanol in the market."  He also "also damped speculation that his administration is exploring a major shift in global-warming policy."  And he "said he is interested in talking with" top auto industry executives "after the November elections, but he appeared to hold out little hope that the federal government would take the lead in relieving the companies of their huge legacy costs for retired workers." 

[/excerpt]

The Dow industrials closed yesterday at 11718.45, "their second-highest close on record and short of a closing level investors haven't seen since Jan. 14, 2000, when the blue-chip average closed at 11722.98 at the height of the dot-com bubble." 

In an interview yesterday with the Wall Street Journal, Bush "said he would speed up his alternative-energy push during the remainder of his term with new spending focused on easing bottlenecks that are slowing the spread of ethanol in the market."  He also "also damped speculation that his administration is exploring a major shift in global-warming policy."  And he "said he is interested in talking with" top auto industry executives "after the November elections, but he appeared to hold out little hope that the federal government would take the lead in relieving the companies of their huge legacy costs for retired workers." 

"Bush is delivering two years early on his promise to cut the federal budget deficit below 2 percent of gross domestic product.," Bloomberg reports.  But: "The achievement may be short-lived because the deficit will widen again in the coming year."  Why?  "Tax receipts, which were running more than 10 percent ahead of last year for the entire first half of 2006, have since slowed." 

The Des Moines Register reports that several middle-class tax breaks will expire at the end of 2005, and "their renewal is stuck in an election-year standoff."  Even if Congress does take action before leaving town, it may be too late for the breaks to make it onto the IRS tax forms.