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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Today's Focus: Budget, Autos and Markets

Today, there's one big agenda on Capitol Hill: the budget. In a string of hearings on both sides of the Hill, we will be watching testimony from several Obama administration officials who have been asked to talk about the budget outlined last week. Although we aren't expecting big news, we will be looking to the Q and A parts of the testimony to get a sense of just how hard lawmakers will press on certain aspects of the budget. Already, certain issues such as health care spending and realistic goals about the deficit, have sparked concern from some lawmakers.

Hearings, which include appearances from Fed chairman Ben Bernanke before the Senate budget committee; Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner before the House Ways and Means committee and budget director Peter Orszag before the House budget committee, kick off at 10 a.m.

Also, beginning later this morning and continuing throughout the day, automakers will announce results of their February sales. Generally, foreign automakers make their announcements earlier, followed by the Big Three in the afternoon. With January sales dropping by a record 30-plus percent, it is hard to see how February would show much of an improvement. We'll blog that here in The Ticker.

And finally, with a day on Wall Street like yesterday, we'll watch the markets to see if things are looking any prettier. Check back here for live updates.

--Sara Goo

By Sara Goo  |  March 3, 2009; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  
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