US stocks posted their first weekly gains in five weeks despite the president being diagnosed with COVID-19. The S&P 500 rose 1.5% and the Dow climbed 1.9% for the week. Abroad, the FTSE All World Ex US was up 1.6% for the week. The yield on the 10-year Treasury edged up over the week to settle at 0.69%.
US employers hired 661,000 individuals in September. The first time below 1 million and short of expectations. The US has added back 11.4 million of the 22 million lost in March and April. The unemployment rate dropped to 7.9% from 8.4%. A portion of the decline reflected people leaving the labor force.
Over the past week 837,000 people applied for new unemployment benefits, down from 873,000 over the previous week. In total roughly 12 million people are receiving unemployment benefits.
US manufacturing activity continued to grow in September, but at a slower pace than in August.
Auto sales were estimated to be down 11% in the third quarter, but an improvement over a 31% decline in the second quarter.
US retail store closing over the first half of the year reached a record and the year is on pace for a record number of bankruptcies and liquidations due to the pandemic.
Personal income fell 2.7% in August, threatening to further cool off the economic recovery.
Consumer confidence jumped in September posting its biggest increase since April 2003 to reach its highest level since March.
US 2Q GDP was revised up slightly to a contraction of 31.4% from 31.7%.