Stocks fluctuate as Congress haggles over a fiscal deal

Only two days before the Treasury Department runs out of borrowing authority, lawmakers, once again, found themselves grasping for a plan that could not only pass both chambers but travel down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House for President Obama's signature. 

"These are crucial days. As we enter the final hours before the U.S. hits our debt limit, SIFMA strongly urges the president and Congress to work together to reach a deal with regard to the debt limit," said former Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), CEO of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.

"Defaulting on our debt would be catastrophic for the markets and undermine the economy. It is essential that a deal be reached."

House GOP leaders said that no decisions had been made on a bill, which could shape up and hit the floor before the end of the day. 

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said leaders are working to make sure there is no default.

But questions quickly arose about whether there were enough votes to pass their revised plan. 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and the White House quickly panned the modifications being floated by House conservatives. 

"It’s unproductive and a waste of time,” Reid said.

Still, Reid expects the Senate to complete work this week on a fiscal deal.

Possible House GOP changes include delaying for two years ObamaCare’s medical device tax and eliminating tax subsidies for members of Congress and top Cabinet officials.

Monday ended with Senate leaders expressing optimism that they were near a deal, providing a boost to markets.