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Jobs and Service Operations Slacked Slightly, Trade Deficit Narrowed Last Month

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The labor market is showing early signs of slowing down in October, as the pandemic continues to infect more than 80,000 Americans a day. 365,000 jobs were created last month, while the consensus was set at 650,000, according to the latest ADP monthly report on private sector employment. The complete U.S. jobs figures for October will be released on Friday.

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Moreover, in October, measures of operation in services (the key driver of growth in the United States) were mixed. Compared to Consensus 56, the final services PMI was 56.9, but the ISM services index was down to 56.6 from Consensus 57.4 and from 57.8 in September. These indices still display strong growth, but they seem to be slowing down somewhat.

In addition to the pandemic affecting the jobs again, other short term scenario arising out of the uncertainty created because of the U.S. presidential election this week. This has been disturbing hurting the markets not only in the country but around the world as well. At last check on Thursday, the tally gave 264 Electoral College votes to Joe Biden and 214 to Donald Trump, taking into account states where all the votes had already been counted. At least 270 votes from the voters are required in order to win the election, which forms the majority of the Electoral College that will formally elect the 46th President of the United States on the 14th of December.

The final outcome now depends on a few crucial states where the ballots are still being counted. These states include Michigan with 16 Electoral College votes, Pennsylvania having 20 votes, Georgia with 16 votes and North Carolina for having 15 Electoral College votes. In these states, the two candidates are presently neck-and-neck, where the count might take hours or even days for some.

Although the counting continues, the US Federal Reserve started a two-day meeting on Wednesday, but in the face of the Covid-19 crisis, investors do not anticipate further easing, pending clarification of the political situation.

Finally, after a $67 billion gap in August, the U.S. trade deficit narrowed more than expected in September to $63.9 billion from a consensus of $64.2 billion.

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