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Wall Street & White House Agenda

@ Wall Street

The economic updates this week were better than expected, though we wouldn't describe them as strong.  Headline employment growth improved to 103,000 in September from 57,000 in August (revised up from the zero originally reported).

But if we adjust for the distortions to recent headline figures caused by Verizon strikers and Minnesota state furloughs, employment growth slowed to 58,000 in September from 79,000 in August. 

The ISM manufacturing and non-manufacturing surveys for September were also soft, but remained in expansionary territory in the low 50?s. 

Light vehicle sales in September and construction spending in August both posted solid gains (from low levels), but these gains are probably not sustainable.

The trade balance and the monthly retail sales reports will be the key releases in the upcoming week.  We are expecting positive readings from both, with retail sales up in September and the trade deficit narrowing slightly in August.

@ The White House

On Monday, the President will travel to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. The departure and arrival from the South Lawn are open press. While at Walter Reed, the President will visit with wounded service members.