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News Highlights: Top Economic Stories Of The Day

­DATA SNAP: ROBUST SEPT US JOBS DATA MAY TRIM RATE-CUT HOPES U.S. employment rebounded last month on robust public education and other service-sector hiring, and August payrolls were revised sharply higher, providing further evidence that while the U.S. economy may slow a bit due to the housing crunch, it is likely to skirt an outright recession. (published 0830 ET) BUSH: JOBS DATA SHOW US ECONOMY `VIBRANT AND STRONG' U.S. President George W. Bush, responding to a favorable government jobs report issued Friday, said the data show the U.S. economy is "vibrant and strong," and called on Congress to keep taxes low. (published 1037 ET) FED'S KOHN: CREDIT LIKELY TO STAY MORE COSTLY FOR BORROWERS Credit for U.S. consumers and businesses will likely remain more expensive, damping U.S. economic growth in the near term, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Donald Kohn said Friday. (published 0918 ET) MERRILL LYNCH: CREDIT MARKET HURTS 3Q RESULTS >MER Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. said challenging credit market conditions will hurt its third-quarter net earnings. The New York securities firm expects to report a net loss of up to 50 cents a share, due to significant negative mark-to-market adjustments to its positions in collateralized debt obligations and subprime mortgages. (published 0925 ET) WASHINGTON MUTUAL SEES BIG 3Q CHARGES, NET INCOME FALLING 75% Washington Mutual Inc., the largest U.S. savings and loan, said Friday it expects a 75% drop in third-quarter net income, joining other financial-services firms reporting big writedowns and loan-loss provisions to reflect this summer's credit-market storm. (published 1030 ET) ECRI US INFLATION GAUGE 117.4 IN SEP VS 117.2 IN AUG An index designed to anticipate cyclical turning points in inflation edged up in September, but is still well below the peak reached in October 2005. The Economic Cycle Research Institute said Friday that its Future Inflation Gauge crept up to 117.4 in September from an upward-revised 117.2 in August. The August level was first reported as 116.8. (published 0940 ET) CANADA SEPT JOBS SOAR, JOBLESS RATE AT 33-YEAR LOW The Canadian economy churned out three times more jobs than anticipated in September, the most since March, pushing the jobless rate down unexpectedly to the lowest in 33 years, data from the government's statistics agency Friday showed. (published 0802 ET) =AT A GLANCE: BARCLAYS WITHDRAWS FROM BATTLE FOR ABN AMRO THE EVENT: U.K. bank Barclays PLC's declared Friday that it had failed in its bid to take over ABN Amro Holding NV, making it likely that a rival offer from the consortium led by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC will win control of the Dutch bank. (published 0738 ET) ====== DOW JONES NEWSWIRES ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY ====== US STOCKS TRADE HIGHER; AUGUST PAYROLLS REVISED UPWARD U.S. stocks marched higher Friday after the much-awaited employment report offered growth in September and a surprise upward revision to the prior month's count, calming worries about the economy. (published 1052 ET) DOLLAR DECLINES SHARPLY, REVERSING GAINS AFTER PAYROLLS The dollar has reversed all initial gains made versus the euro after the release of a positive U.S. employment report Friday morning, as some investors took advantage of the euro's reduced price. (published 1054 ET) TREASURYS SLUMP AFTER STRONG US JOBS REPORT Treasury prices fell sharply and the yield curve flattened a touch Friday morning after a strong U.S. September payrolls report raised questions about future Federal Reserve rate cuts. (published 0945 ET) US RATE FUTURES PRICES PLUNGE ON STRONG JOBS DATA U.S. interest rate futures prices plunged Friday morning, reducing expectations for cuts in the benchmark federal-funds lending rate as the government reported stronger-than-anticipated employment growth. (published 1028 ET) COMEX GOLD RECOVERS EARLY PAYROLLS-RELATED LOSSES Gold and silver futures have recovered most of their early losses as the dollar turned lower in choppy trade Friday after U.S. non-farm payrolls were stronger than expected, traders said. (published 1055 ET) OIL FUTURES: NYMEX CRUDE DOWN A BIT AS DLR GAINS ON JOBS DATA Crude oil futures were down slightly early Friday, slipping after the dollar was boosted by U.S. jobs data seen lessening the chances of further interest rate cuts. (published 0926 ET) =FED WATCH: JOBS DATA DRIVES QUESTIONS ABOUT RATE CUTS It's probably too soon to answer that question. But it's also no surprise that the question is on the table after the government reported Friday surprising hiring data. Surprising, in that while last month's jobs gain matched expectations at a 110,000 increase, August's job decline of 4,000 was turned, via the magic of revisions, into a 89,000 gain. (published 1034 ET) =FOCUS: UK GOVT TO CUT GROWTH FORECAST, SOMETAXES IN PBR U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling will cut the government's forecasts for economic growth in 2008, and likely increase its borrowing target, when he presents his Pre-Budget Report to lawmakers Tuesday. (published 0933 ET) =FOCUS: BIDDERS FOR BARCLAYS SEEN FEW AND FAR BETWEEN Even before Barclays PLC officially withdrew its offer for ABN Amro Holding NV, speculation began to circulate that the U.K. bank would become a takeover target itself. (published 0858 ET) =FOCUS: EUROPEAN CONFIDENCE DATA LIKELY TO BOUNCE BACK Much has been made of recent declines in surveys of European business and consumer confidence, but historical examples suggest that such gauges can be oversensitive and volatile and are likely to bounce back in the coming months. (published 0702 ET) (END) Dow Jones Newswires October 05, 2007 11:00 ET (15:00 GMT)