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Ed Hyman: U.S. Economy Is Coming Back From Storms

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It’s jobs day, a storm disrupts Gulf of Mexico oil production, and the British PM is under pressure. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.

Payrolls

Analysts expect employers in the U.S. to have added 80,000 positions in September when the data are released at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. Hurricane Harvey in late August and Irma last month, however, mean there’s an unusually high element of uncertainty in forecasts for today’s number. Investors looking for a better view of the jobs market will have to wait until data released Oct. 20, which break out state-by-state numbers. 

Speaking of weather…

Tropical Storm Nate, which has left at least 22 dead in Central America, is expected to become a hurricane tomorrow as it tracks north through the Gulf of Mexico on its way to landfall on the southern United States late on Sunday. The storm has already closed oil and gas platforms at sea, and is seen threatening cotton and orange crops. West Texas Intermediate for November delivery was at $50.59 a barrel at 5:30 a.m. Eastern Time. 

Under pressure

British Prime Minister Theresa May is facing calls to stand down following her disastrous speech at the Conservative Party conference this week. Former party chairman Grant Shapps says he has a “growing” list of about 30 colleagues who want to nominate her successor. With Brexit dominating the U.K. political debate, any leadership contest would put the country’s negotiating position further on the back foot. Data from the Office of National Statistics this morning also showed that British productivity is falling further behind the G7 average, a headwind for growth. 

Markets mixed

U.S. stocks continued their run of record-high closes yesterday, with the S&P 500 Index notching its longest winning streak since July 2013. Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.3 percent while Japan’s Topix index also added 0.3 percent. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.2 percent lower at 5:50 a.m. as the Catalan independence vote continued to weigh on the region’s stocks. S&P 500 futures slipped 0.1 percent and the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.366 percent. 

Coming up…

While the payrolls number is the big data point of the day, there are plenty of verbal interventions to look out for. Following yesterday’s rate pronouncements, today we will hear from Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic, New York Fed President William Dudley, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan and Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard. Possible future Fed Chair and current National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn will be on Bloomberg Television at 9:30 a.m.

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