By Jeff Cox, CNBC.com Senior Writer
NEW YORK ( CNBC) -- Friday's likely weak jobs number will provide a key test for the market, namely whether stocks can trade higher even when one of the economy's key components is unlikely to show improvement anytime soon. Economists expect the nonfarm payrolls report to show a gain of 60,000, a number that probably will not move the unemployment rate lower and may even be an optimistic view of the jobs market. Indeed, a deeper view shows that the employment in September likely was about the same as it was in August -- stagnant with a bias to the downside.
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