Congress returns from the Thanksgiving holiday this week to take up the $76 billion, two-year budget deficit reduction agreement forged by the White House and a bipartisan congressional leadership group. Lawmakers have until Dec. 16 to produce legislation implementing the budget agreement and are expected once again to work right up to their deadline.
Serious new tremors in the stock market could speed up the congressional timetable. It also could affect the timing of an anticipated meeting of finance ministers from the United States and its major economic allies to seek a new agreement on stabilizing the value of the sinking dollar.
Meanwhile, more clues will arrive this week about what damage, if any, was done to the economy and the securities industry by the stock market collapse on Oct. 19.
Several major economic indicators are due for release by the government during the week: The composite indexes of leading, coincident and lagging indicators for October will be released by the Commerce Department on Tuesday; October home sales figures come out on Wednesday; manufacturing orders and shipment data for October are scheduled to be announced Thursday; and November unemployment figures are to be released Friday.
Automakers are expected to announce their November car sales figures on Thursday, providing a further statistical measure of the strength of big-ticket buying in the month after the stock market collapse.
On Tuesday, the Securities Industry Association convenes its annual meeting in Boca Raton, Fla. Usually a dry review of the economy and the stock market, this year's meeting is likely to be rife with discussion of the stock market plunge as the nation's stock traders get together to compare notes on damage. Several major brokerage firms also are expected to release their economic forecasts for 1988 during the year.