OVERNIGHT MONEY: Jobs are the only game in town

Because the estimates are relatively conservative, the report probably won't produce any surprises, up or down, that would favor either candidate. 

But that won't mean that Romney won't deem the report a strike out for Obama's policies or that the president's camp won't sell the gain as a base knock that reflects a a gradually improving economy making strides against the backdrop of a deep financial crisis. 

The stagnant labor market is reflected in slowing layoffs — new filers for unemployment benefits rose by 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 367,000, from an upwardly revised 363,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

The four-week moving average, which is a better indicator of the job market's trend, was unchanged, at 375,000. 

Congress is set to return the week after the November elections to begin work on, at least, a short-term solution, which would likely lead to an extension of all current policy until the details are worked out next year. 

In a separate report released Wednesday, ADP Employer Services said the private sector hired 162,000 workers in September, a figure that will probably be above the government's estimates of 125,000. 

Let's play ball. 


Consumer Credit: The Federal Reserve releases its August measure of consumer debt.


— Romney rally? Stocks close higher one day after debate

— PBS calls Romney misguided, says his proposed cuts would devastate service

Senate GOP challenges Obama's budget claims from debate

— Meeting report shows Fed officials favor 'QE3' amid employment concerns

— Housing markets continue to show improvement

— Reid: Romney's tax plan as dishonest as own returns

Mortgage rates drop to new record lows

— Pro-Egypt group launches advocacy campaign to lift congressional block on U.S. aid

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