Sure, Paul Ryan has an editorial in The Wall Street Journal on how to make a deal, and he will introduce another bill this week that will contain no tax increases. Senate Democrats — who haven't had a budget in four years — say they might outline a plan, maybe this week. The president will not release a budget plan until April at the earliest, and it will be the opposite of the Ryan plan: all revenue raisers, nothing on spending cuts.
Based on this, you'll forgive me if I'm a little skeptical that all these dinners will produce something substantive.
The bulls are right about one thing: After a brief flutter at the end of February, the rally has resumed. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average are up seven days in a row ... the last time the Dow industrial average was up eight days in a row was on Feb. 9, 2011. The S&P 500 was up eight days in a row in January this year.
That rally is starting to look a bit stretched. Albert Lewitinn, producer of CNBC's "Street Signs," reminded me that a few weeks ago, before the late February stall, I noted that the S&P 500 was about 8 percent above its 200-day moving average, a fairly rare occurrence, and that in prior periods when the S&P 500 had been that stretched, rallies often stalled out and went into a consolidation phase.
We are there again: Based on a 200-day moving average of 1,424, the S&P 500 is now 9.2 percent above its 200-day moving average.
This is a general rule of thumb I have used for several years — when a major index gets more than about 8 percent above its 200-day moving, it tends to have a tough time going higher without some period of consolidation.
The last time this happened was at the end of March 2012: The S&P 500 did indeed stall out; it also came close in September and stalled there, as well.
—By CNBC's Bob Pisani