NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The Dow Jones Industrial Average has clawed its way back above 11,000, and put together a sneaky two-week stretch where it's risen in seven of the past 10 trading sessions. Of course, those down days were pretty big down days but it's still worth noting. The conjecture put forth in the latest headlines from Europe has turned hopeful and that's heightened risk appetites, especially with the 10-year Treasury bond still sitting a shade below 2%. It could all turn quickly though if eurozone leaders ultimately can't get together on a recapitalization plan. The government's employment situation report for September is the big news for Friday. The jobs data so far this week has been encouraging, and the consensus estimate is now for an increase in non-farm payrolls of 60,000 last month, according to Briefing.com, with the unemployment rate staying stuck at 9.1%. Payrolls were unchanged in August, so a return to even a modicum of growth would be welcome. A blowout number could set up a nice rally to end the week. Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, is expecting a 50K increase, and he'll be paying close attention to the wage and job vacancy numbers in the report. He expects the effect of the Verizon ( VZ) strike to be an addition of 45,000 jobs, which will be offset by the seasonal factor of the end of summer. Shepherdson finds it interesting that both hourly earnings and job vacancies have been increasing. "Since the early part of last year, however, vacancies have risen markedly despite the still-high and stable unemployment rate," he writes. "This should not be happening and it suggests a degree of unnerving dislocation in the labor market." In an effort to explain this, Shepherdson wonders if this means that the long-time unemployed are having an even harder time finding work than the poor numbers indicate with employers unwilling to hire people who have been without jobs for an extended period of time. The extension of unemployment benefits by the federal government may be a factor as well, keeping people from actively seeking employment for longer than they otherwise may have.
"The result of this is that labor market insiders -- people with skills and a job -- are able to extract wage increases from their employers at the expense of outsiders," he said. "To some extent then, the huge numbers of unemployed people are no longer influencing wages because they do not represent true competition for people currently in work." Friday also brings wholesale inventories for August at 10 a.m. with expectations for a 0.5% increase, and consumer credit for August at 2:00 p.m. ET, which is forecast to come in at $7 billion. The earnings calendar is bare. There was also a late-breaking report that Yahoo ( YHOO) may be close to an agreement to sell its stake in Yahoo Japan, but that's not exactly the deal news that long-time investors in the Internet giant who haven't seen the stock close above $20 in more than three years are holding out hope for. And finally, one of the more heartening tributes to Steve Jobs after his too-early death on Wednesday at age 56 may have been that Apple's ( AAPL) stock did just fine, thanks. The shares lost less than a buck in a show of faith from investors that Jobs left the company in good hands. Sterne Agee said Thursday it would be a buyer of Apple shares on any weakness, and the firm said it views Jobs' legacy as Apple itself as well the culture of "innovation, thinking different, risk taking, and execution" that he built at the company. "In our view, the challenge and opportunity for AAPL is to maintain this culture," Sterne Agee said. "The good news is that Steve has put a strong team in place to execute with Tim Cook, Jonathan Ive, Eddy Cue, Scott Forstall, Phil Schiller, Peter Oppenheimer, Bob Mansfield, to name a few." The firm has a buy rating and $500 price target on the stock. -- Written by Michael Baron in New York.