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.
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.