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Market Hopes to Focus on Jobs, Not Hurricane, in Coming Week

The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, the so-called "supercommittee" that has been tasked with coming up with suggestions to cut federal budget deficits by at least $1.5 trillion over 10 years, is required to submit its recommendations before the Thanksgiving recess with a full congressional vote planned before the winter recess.

That means the market could be stuck in what Orlando dubs "congressional malaise" until the supercommittee can convince Wall Street that it will come up with a meaningful plan for fiscal sustainability.

"So if everything is focused on this three-month supercommittee process, then market fundamentals won't matter," Orlando said. "Technicals may be more important than fundamentals -- at least in the near term. "

With Congress still on recess until Sept. 6 and the Fed pushing back stimulus talks until Sept. 20-21, the market will shift its gaze to economic data, keeping a close eye on the government's August jobs report on Friday.

The coming week, however, could be dominated by a different story all together if Hurricane Irene hits the East Coast hard over the weekend, as expected. Lou Pastina, Head of Trading Floor Operations at the New York Stock Exchange, plans to open the exchange on Monday but said he'll make a definitive decision over the weekend.

Before the market gets its first jobs-related release on Wednesday, the Bureau of Economic Analysis will report on personal income and spending in July on Monday while Tuesday will bring the Conference Board's consumer confidence index for August.

Wednesday kicks off a string of jobs releases with Automatic Data Processing's read on company job growth in August. Investors will be comparing August's number to private sector job growth of 114,000 in July.

Also on Wednesday, the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index will give a read on manufacturing activity in the Chicago region in August.

The Labor Department's initial jobless claims report on Thursday will be closely watched since it comes a day before the government's unemployment report. In recent weeks, initial claims continued to hang above the 400,000 level.

The other big report on Thursday will be the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index for August. Market watchers will be comparing August's reading to July's level of 50.9.

Friday brings the Labor Department's highly anticipated unemployment report for August. According to Weiner of RDM Financial Group, the market is anticipating job growth of 111,000 after gains of 117,000 in July. Briefing.com is expecting the unemployment rate to tick up to 9.2% from 9.1% in July.

-- Written by Melinda Peer in New York.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.
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