While a government shutdown is capturing many news headlines, a steady increase in oil prices since early July should stay near the top of an investor’s watchlist. Since July, crude oil has bubbled up from near $70 to over $90 per barrel, as of late September. That’s helped push the national US average gas price to $3.84, according to AAA. It’s possible that gas prices may recede as fall progresses, which is often the case due to seasonal factors. But persistently high oil prices could continue to help pressure stocks.