The U.S. Treasury has said Thursday would be the day the government could no longer pay all of its bills, which could throw a thunderbolt of panic through markets around the globe.
During the government shutdown, most economic reports are not being produced, which leaves traders few clues on what market positions to take. Headlines concerning the political meltdown in Washington are filling the void and putting the market in a jittery mood.
But positive sounding headlines move markets the other way. On Monday, West Texas intermediate crude shed 71 cents early, then rebounded to gain of 32 cents to $102.34 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Reformulated blendstock gasoline prices gained 0.18 cents to $2.6699 per gallon. Home heating oil lost 0.67 cents to $3.0282 per gallon. Natural gas added 4 cents to reach $3.82 per million British thermal units.
At the pump, the national average price of unleaded gasoline dropped to $3.343 per gallon from Sunday's $3.344, AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report said.