- The U.S. added 194,000 jobs in September, the lowest total in 10 months
- The ISM Manufacturing Index registered 61.1 in September, while the ISM Services Index was 61.9
- OPEC+ maintained its current plan to increase production by 400,000 barrels a day
Top Three Market Headlines
U.S. Job Growth Slows: The U.S. Department of Labor announced last Friday that U.S. employers added only 194,000 jobs in September, the smallest gain since December 2020. Increased employment in the leisure and hospitality, retail trade, professional and business services, and transportation and warehousing drove September's increase in hiring, while public education hiring was a laggard. The labor force participation rate decreased from 61.7% to 61.6%, meaning some workers gave up searching for a job and exited the labor force. The smaller pool of labor meant that despite the slowdown in hiring, the unemployment rate fell to 4.8% last month from 5.2% in August.
U.S. Business Activity Continues to Expand in September: The U.S. economy continued to grow in September, according to surveys of business executives released by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). The ISM Manufacturing index registered 61.1 in September, up from 59.9 in August. (A reading above 50 indicates an expansion of activity, while a sub-50 mark reflects contraction.) The services sector also continued to expand in September as the ISM Services index registered 61.9, slightly higher than August's reading of 61.7. Both indices have now exceeded 50 for 16 consecutive months.
Oil Prices Keep Rising as OPEC+ Stands Pat: OPEC and Russia (OPEC+) last week declined to amend their latest oil production plan, according to which the member countries expect to increase their collective oil output by 400,000 barrels a day on a monthly basis. However, amid rising oil prices there have been intensified calls for OPEC+ to expand output further. West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices rose to over $80 a barrel last week, nearing their highest price level since 2014 and up from $62 a barrel in late August