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Monday Morning Business Brief

October 1, 2012, 7:43 AM

Monday Morning Business Brief
  • While stocks fell Friday, the third quarter was a solid one for all three indexes. The Dow starts the fourth quarter 4 percent higher at 13,437. The Standard & Poor's 500 gained nearly 6 percent from July through September, and starts at 1,441. The Nasdaq is at 3,116. Futures trading suggest gains at today's opening.
  • Many Asian stock markets have a holiday today while European stocks opened higher, hours before Greek officials were to resume negotiations with international lenders who have pledged financial help if the country makes the necessary budget cuts. Benchmark crude oil fell below $92 per barrel. The dollar fell against the euro but rose against the yen.
  • The Commerce Department reports August numbers for construction spending today, but with the presidential election a little more than a month away, all eyes will be on Friday's release of the September jobs report. Last month's numbers were seen as a disappointment, with employers adding 96,000 jobs and the nation's unemployment rate falling to 8.1 percent largely as a result of people dropping out of the workforce.
  • Official data show the record high unemployment rate in the 17 countries using the euro currency remained unchanged in August at 11.4 percent. European leaders have managed to calm financial markets but have been unable to halt the rising tide of joblessness. Some economists have argued that the very spending cuts that helped stabilize the crisis are what's pushing unemployment higher.
  • There'll be plenty of bacon to bring home but it's likely to start costing to bring home the bacon. The economics of the current drought are likely to nose up prices for bacon and other pork products next year, by as much as 10 percent. But U.S. agricultural economists are dismissing reports of a global bacon shortage.

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