The Senate and the House are due to hold sessions today despite the Columbus Day federal holiday as Washington continues to struggle to forge a deal over the government budget and the debt ceiling.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican leader Mitch McConnell held talks over the weekend that Reid called substantive. "I'm optimistic about the prospects for a positive conclusion," Reid said.
However, U.S. stock futures are lower as investors become increasingly nervous about the chances of an agreement before Thursday's debt-cap deadline. It could be that it will need a display of market fear to get Congress to agree to a deal.