OVERNIGHT MONEY: Welcome back, jobs report

TUESDAY'S BIG STORY: 

Happy belated Jobs Report Day: The wait is over. After a more than two-week delay, the September jobs report will be released on Tuesday morning. 

It feels kind of strange, I know. Normally the report comes out the first Friday of each month.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) will drop last month's report, delayed since Oct. 4 because of the 16-day government shutdown, with the expectations that the labor market improved from its otherwise lackluster summer performance. 

Estimates ranged from a conservative 150,000 up to a much cheerier 200,000. The jobless rate is likely to hang right around the 7.3 percent recorded in August.

Economists said they hope the data shows a reversal of the trend of workers dropping out of the job market even if it means a slight uptick in the unemployment rate. 


The report was one of dozens delayed by the government shutdown, which started on Oct. 1, the beginning of the fiscal year. 

The jobs measurement provides a gauge as to how the broader economy is performing. 

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It also will be used by the Federal Reserve to determine when and by how much to cut back its $85 billion in monthly monetary stimulus. 

The central bank opted to wait in September, despite expectations to the contrary, to taper its bond purchases. 

We'll see how much investors weigh the late data amid plenty of other hints about the trajectory of the economy.

The markets could focus on the data; the Senate is out of session this week and the House is only in Washington on Tuesday and Wednesday after several brutal weeks of fighting over fiscal issues — raising the debt ceiling and funding the government. 

The BLS said it will take an extra week to announce October jobs data, too, pushing it to Nov. 8.

Next month's report will reflect the effects of the shutdown. 

Mark Zandi, chief economist with Moody’s Analytics, anticipates the belated report will show the economy adding 150,000 jobs, while Keith Hall, former head of the BLS, estimates about 160,000 positions were added. 


LOOSE CHANGE

Improving relations: U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan discussed on Monday ways to strengthen the trade and investment relationship between the two nations.

They vowed to work together to increase bilateral trade and investment — two-way trade was $5.2 billion last year.

Froman cited making notable progress in addressing trade and investment issues under the United States-Pakistan Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) and offered to host the next meeting of the TIFA Council in Washington.

Modest growth: Economists are relatively upbeat about the prospects for economic growth in the next year, according to a quarterly survey by the National Association for Business Economics.

The survey suggests the "economy continues to expand at a moderate pace."

"Sales growth accelerated in the third quarter, despite potential headwinds such as rising interest rates and oil prices, and a renewed wave of policy uncertainty," said Timothy Gill, chairman of the NABE survey committee and deputy chief economist at the National Electrical Manufacturers Association.

"Profit margins rebounded after weakening in the previous quarter, while gains in capital spending matched those reported in the first half of the year," he said. 

"In contrast, employment growth, though still solid, slowed in the third quarter, wage and salary growth also slowed, and plans for near-term hiring and capital spending moderated."

Only 27 percent reported rising employment at their firms from July through September, down from 29 percent in the second quarter. 

All told, 37 percent expected their companies to expand payrolls in the next six months, down from 39 percent in the second quarter.

Still, optimism remains. 

Almost 70 percent of the economists in the survey predicted gross domestic product growth of 2 to 3 percent, with another 19 percent expecting growth of 1 to 2 percent, about the same as the last survey in July.

Economic growth could be stymied by the 16-day government shutdown in the final three months of the year. 

Among the other findings:

• Sales growth accelerated in the third quarter — 42 percent of the economists reported rising sales at their companies, up from 35 percent in July. 

• One-third of the economists said profit margins were up at their firms, up from 21 percent in July and the highest percentage in more than a year. 

• Only 16 percent of economists said their firms were raising wages and salaries, down from 19 percent in July and 31 percent in April.

• Most economists, 81 percent, said the Affordable Care Act had no impact on employment during the past three months. But a "sizable minority," 18 percent, reported a negative impact. 

• Eighty percent reported no effect on their businesses in the third quarter from rising long-term interest rates.

More updates: The Census Bureau announced on Tuesday an update to its economic releases following the government shutdown. 

The revisions include housing vacancies and homeownership, originally scheduled for Oct. 29 to Nov. 5, and manufacturing and trade inventories and sales was moved to Oct. 29 from Oct. 11. 


WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED

— Chamber's lobbying spending hits $36M

— U.S. Chamber boss: Ted Cruz needs to 'work on' keeping quieter

— Conservative group widens IRS lawsuit

— Sales of existing homes fall 1.9 percent in September

— Taxpayers for Common Sense: House water bill 'subsidizes Kentucky kickback'

— Obama names chief judge to top tax court

— Army: Only two brigades ready to fight

— Credit unions say new rules will hurt lending

— GOP House member calls for open budget conference meetings

— Club for Growth launches ad touting Sen. Cochran primary opponent


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