— CNBC's Patti Domm advises that oil will continue to be a dominant feature of this week's markets. The stock market will focus on earnings; the first major third-quarter earnings will start rolling out tomorrow with Alcoa. General Electric reports on Friday.
Gas prices have fallen about 75 cents below their high in August, Reuters reports, "but prices look to be headed back up, an analyst warned."
The Saturday Wall Street Journal previewed another event on Bush's schedule this week: The White House will release the final deficit tally for the fiscal year ended September 30. "The news will be good: The deficit is likely to come in well below the previous year's $318 billion, perhaps as low as $250 billion... That will allow President Bush to boast that he has met his goal of halving the deficit... ahead of schedule." Still, the Journal says, "[d]espite the good news about last year -- largely the result of a remarkable 12% surge in tax receipts from individuals and corporations that overwhelmed a nearly 9% increase in spending -- the smart money says the deficit is very likely to get deeper from here."