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Pre-Market Primer: September Job Growth Still Weak, Though Unemployment Rate Falls


Setting the tone for the last stretch of campaign season.

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Non-farm payrolls in the US increased by just 114,000 last month, which was largely in line with expectations. Economists' expected the US economy to add 115,000 new non-farm jobs to the payrolls. The unemployment rate, expected to increase to 8.2% from 8.1% actually fell to 7.8%.

The biggest news today was the huge revisions to previous months. July's 141,000 was revised up to 181,000 and August's paltry 96,000 was revised to 142,000.

Yesterday, jobless claims increased by less than anticipated to 367,000, raising hopes that the main jobs report can exceed expectations. Last month, the disappointing jobs numbers were seen as a bullish sign by many traders, as it increased their confidence that the Federal Reserve will approve more asset purchases and lift stocks. Now that the Fed has already promised theoretically infinite asset purchases, a bad report wouldn't have had such a silver lining.

Stocks are set to open higher today. Future contracts on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) gained 0.21% to 13,527.00. S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) futures climbed 0.17% to 1,458.30, and Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures headed up 0.23% to 2,828.00.

European and Asian stocks climbed today, though some Japanese shares took a hit after it was reported that the Bank of Japan did not decide on further monetary easing after its most recent meeting. The central bank will continue its 55 trillion yen asset-purchase program and interest rates will stay between zero and 0.1%. German manufacturing orders fell more than expected in August, tumbling 1.3% from July. Domestic orders fell 3%.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) is in talks with the government of Qatar to sell a majority stake in its commodities-trading business to the country's sovereign wealth fund.

Oil futures in the US fell by 0.95% to $90.84, suggesting that this week will be the third straight decline in crude futures. Yesterday, Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi, said that he is confident that his country can continue to meet demand despite producing crude at its highest level in 15 years.

Shares of Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) dropped nearly 20% to $2.26 today after the company lowered its earnings outlook for the full year 2012. Zynga's earnings guidance for the third quarter fell to a loss of $0.12 to $0.14. For the full year, revenue is expected to reach $1.085 to $1.1 billion, down from previous forecasts of $1.225 billion. Zynga's dwindling revenue is bad news for Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) since it derives a huge chunk of its revenue from payments to Zynga.

Despite fighting and losing a long court battle with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Samsung (KRX:005930) posted a record profit of $7.3 billion. The company's sales of televisions, smartphones, and other gadgets more than offset reduced orders for components from Apple. Samsung still makes the processor for the newest iPhone.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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