The broad indexes ended mixed, even though the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that "total employment rose by 873,000 in September, following 3 months of little change," and that the unemployment rate declined to 7.8% from 8.1% in August. The bulk of the new jobs were part-time. The Bureau said "the number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) rose from 8 million in August to 8.6 million in September."
Despite the improvement coming from "involuntary part-time workers," and the stock market's lackluster reaction, the improved top-line unemployment number provided a quick boost for President Obama, following his uncharacteristically weak performance during his first debate with Mitt Romney on Wednesday.
The Federal Reserve Friday afternoon reported that total consumer credit grew by $2.71 billion during August, which was slightly higher than in July, but was 8.0% higher than a year earlier, when July saw total consumer credit declining at an annualized rate of 1.1%.
The KBW Bank Index (I:BKX) pulled back slightly to close at 51.39, with 14 of the 23 index components rounding out the week with gains.
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