This week kicks off on an upbeat note with most markets (Dow +1.5%; Nasdaq +2.55%; S&P 500 +1.68%) up, except for the price of oil, which started the week down about 5% to $48.81/barrel. An indicator of how Americans are feeling better about the economy and their individual futures is expected on April 28, when the Conference Board releases its April consumer confidence survey.

A number of economic reports are due out this week including the Commerce Dept.’s report on first quarter GDP on April 29, which is expected to document a 4.6% decline in the first quarter. That will be followed on April 30 by a Bureau of Economic Analysis’s March personal income and personal spending reports which are expected to show declines of 0.2% and 0.1% respectively. Any better number on spending would be seen as an extremely positive sign.

The Federal Reserve’s policymaking committee is scheduled to meet on April 28 and 29 with any announcement of new actions expected on the afternoon of the 29th. Nothing as dramatic as last month’s moves to lower interest rates by buying Treasury bonds and mortgage-related securities is expected, however.

The Treasury Dept. has its regularly scheduled auction of new three- and six-month bills on April 27 and an auction of four-week bills on April 28.

With Congress back in session there are a number of committee meetings scheduled this week, beginning with the session on April 27 of the joint conference committee to set for the budget for FY2010, revise budgetary levels for FY09, and set for the appropriate budget levels for fiscal years 2011 through 2014. On the same day the House Committee on Energy and Commerce will examine U.S. trade with Cuba and its impact on economic growth. On April 28, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions will hold hearings to examine individual state experiences with healthcare reform coverage.