The last economic data to be released before the election has given no advantage to either candidate. We did pick up 171,000 jobs in October, a little better than forecast, and revised up another 84,000 in prior months.
However, the average workweek was unchanged for the fourth month in a row, and hourly earnings fell slightly, over the last year rising only 1.6 percent. “U-6” — the measure of unemployment including “involuntary part-time” — is still 14.6 percent.
On net a brighter sign than the jobs report: the ISM survey of manufacturing in October crawled 0.2 further into positive ground at 51.7.
Markets are flat, I think suppressed more by the election than anything, although stocks are clearly hurt by diminished earnings. Foreign action has also been muted and deferred by our election, especially in Europe.
Commentary: Expect new leadership at Fed and Treasury regardless of who wins
BY LOU BARNES, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012.