With 10 minutes remaining until 4 pm, and no newsflow to the contrary, it was pretty obvious that there would be no deal, at least in the immediate future. This has now been confirmed by ABC News's Jonathan Carl: "Asian markets? They are on their own. A Republican source tells ABC News negotiators do not expect to have a deal or even the framework of a deal on the debt ceiling by 4 p.m. today, as House Speaker John Boehner had said he wanted to steady jittery Asian markets when they open." And here is why the dip buyers will be having a field day today: "In fact, the source says a deal today is now looking unlikely." Remember: under Bernanke, nothing can possibly ever go wrong. So buy everything, buy with both hands, buy on margin. In fact, take out a 4th lien on your unborn child and margin that up while buying every dip. Remember: there is no risk. The central planners have spoken.
The principals are speaking over the phone while the staffs work on the numbers. Congressional Democrats and Republicans continue to try to hash out a compromise, but they are not there yet.
Separately, the source says that the big "grand bargain" now looks, once again, to be "pretty dead" -- not buried yet, but not really breathing either. Despite the positive comments by Boehner and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner this morning, the large deficit reduction plan seems to be too much, too late to accomplish by the Aug. 2 deadline.
"A deal is still elusive," said one top House Republican.