Stocks aren’t doing much of anything here on Monday after a flattish close on Friday. Gold and silver are trading around the flatline, while the dollar and Treasuries are a bit lower.

On the news front...

We’re halfway through the month of May but still don’t have a debt ceiling deal in Washington. Ahead of the threatened June 1 default day, though, President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy will sit down again tomorrow to talk about compromise options. Biden is leaving soon for a trip to Japan, Papua New Guinea, and Australia so there’s an element of urgency here.

I usually don’t make much of a big deal about second-tier economic releases. But today’s New York Fed index was so hideous, it bears mentioning. The manufacturing index plunged to -31.8 from 10.8 a month prior. That missed the consensus forecast of -2.5 by a mile.

Sick of paying for software from Intuit (INTU) or H&R Block (HRB) to file your taxes? The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may soon have another option for you – a GOVERNMENT-backed, free online filing service. The IRS is poised to release a report on the “Direct File” system soon, which the Biden Administration will then have to follow up on if it wants to move forward.

Finally, the former content darling Vice Media filed for bankruptcy protection. But the producer of television and online content won’t liquidate as part of the process. Instead, creditors that include Soros Fund Management and Fortress Investment Group are going to keep funding its operations. They paid only $225 million in the deal, a far cry from the $5.7 billion Vice was once valued at.