STEVE CHIOTAKIS: The work on coming up with a debt ceiling solution will continue today in Washington. They may even work into next week, when Congress was supposed to be on recess. That recess has been canceled. Not a great way for those lawmakers to start a new month. Or for Wall Street to start a new quarter.
And that’s where we’re gonna start this morning with Jill Schlesinger, editor-at-large at CBS/MoneyWatch. Good morning.
JILL SCHLESINGER: Good morning.
CHIOTAKIS: So Congress is continuing these debt ceiling talks with the White House. How much is that going to weigh on the quarter that starts today?
SCHLESINGER: Well, of course it’s important, but the traders and economists that I talked to believe that there’s going to be a deal because the stakes are just too high if there’s no agreement. The real big question for the next quarter is whether the economy’s going to pick up more steam. And consumers are obviously looking for an improvement in jobs, housing and lower food and gas prices.
CHIOTAKIS: I want to talk a little bit, Jill about the quarter that just wrapped up — the second quarter of the year. I know the stock market has been on a bit of a tear lately, especially the past four or five days. How did we do in Quarter Number Two?
SCHLESINGER: You know there was a lot of bad news — the effects of the Japanese earthquake, unrest in the Middle East, debt problems in Greece and only about 2 percent growth here in the U.S. But stocks did OK. The Dow squeaked out a gain, S&P 500 and NASDAQ down a little bit, both are up 4.5, 5 percent a year. And oil, which peaked at $114 a barrel during the quarter fell 10.5 percent and gas prices are almost exactly where they were three months ago.
CHIOTAKIS: Oil is trading I think about $94 right now. All right, Jill Schlesinger from CBS/MoneyWatch. Jill, thanks.
SCHLESINGER: Great to be with you.
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