Senate, House leaders push debt deals

The New York Times: Republican senators prepared to meet on Tuesday morning to hear from their leadership about a potential deal with Democrats that could resolve the standoff with President Obama, reopen the government and lift the threat of an American default by raising the debt ceiling. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, will try to sell his colleagues on the proposal during an early meeting of the Senate Republican conference at 11 a.m. The deal would reopen the government until Jan. 15 and raise the debt limit until Feb. 7. In addition, lawmakers would agree to conclude negotiations on a longer-term budget by the middle of December. However, Bloomberg reports that House Republicans plan to vote as soon as tonight on a debt-limit increase that would delay the medical-device tax for two years and curtail health insurance benefits for lawmakers and political appointees, Representative Darrell Issa said. The proposal is designed as a Republican alternative to the bipartisan plan emerging in the Senate. Like the Senate proposal, the House measure would fund the government through Jan. 15, 2014 and suspend the debt limit until Feb. 7.


U.S. debt deal optimism boosts shares, dollar

Reuters: Signs of a deal to avert an economically damaging U.S. debt default boosted world equities and the dollar on Tuesday, though firm short-term interest rates highlighted concerns that the problem may just be postponed. While markets remain wary over the eventual outcome, the signs of a last-minute compromise were enough to lift Europe's blue chip index, the Euro STOXX 50 to a 2-1/2-year high and sent shares in Asia to five-month highs. U.S. stock index futures signaled a mixed start on Wall Street with a weak earnings report from Citigroup likely to pressure the broad S&P 500 index which is lying just below a record high.


Halloween spending seen cooling down this year

CNNMoney: Consumers are spooked this Halloween -- and it's not just the ghosts, goblins, and ghouls. Fewer people plan to celebrate the holiday this year, and those who are plan to spend less, according to one survey. Another predicted spending would increase over last year, but at a much slower pace. The National Retail Federation estimated nearly $7 billion would be spent this year on costumes, candy and artificial cobwebs, about $1 billion less than last year. That translates to an average of about $4.79 less per Halloween reveler. It based those numbers on a survey of almost 5,300 adults.