Heading into the new week, US politicians still haven't come to an agreement to avert the debt crisis or end the government shutdown. However, weekend conversations have been constructive which usually means a deal will be reached before the deadline. Still, the markets will likely remain volatile until an agreement is actually approved by Congress/Obama. Don't forget, the US bond markets are closed on Monday for Columbus Day. Moreover, several important earnings will come out this week and could further spark market action. One interesting effect of the recent political turmoil - gold has not been a beneficiary of the uncertainty. In fact, the precious metal is down over 4% for the month and 24% for the year. Has gold's long run in the limelight finally come to an end? We'll have to see what the next few weeks bring.