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North American Morning Briefing: S&P 500 on Track -2-

The retailer, which sells nearly everything for a dollar in its namesake chain, plans to add more products at slightly higher prices, highlighting the pressure on companies to offset cost increases for a range of goods.


Tight Labor Market Seen Keeping New Jobless Claims in Check

Worker filings for unemployment benefits are expected to have fallen last week as the number of Covid-19 cases declined and hurricane-related disruptions eased.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal estimate that initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs, declined by 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 335,000 for the week ended Sept. 25. That would place new applications near the lowest level since the pandemic took hold in the U.S. in March 2020. The Labor Department plans to release the latest numbers at 8:30 a.m. EDT Thursday.


In Bond Market Rout, Investors See Overdue Correction

Investors often claim the U.S. government bond market is the best place to look for insights into the shifting outlook for the economy and interest rates. Right now, some think it isn't.

In the waning days of the third quarter, yields on U.S. government bonds shot higher. That might be taken as an encouraging sign about the prospects for the economy because yields, which rise when bond prices fall, generally tend to climb with forecasts for growth and inflation.


Eurozone Unemployment Rate Falls

The jobless rate in the eurozone continued to decline in August as the reopening after the easing of pandemic-related restrictions fueled a strong economic recovery over the summer.

The eurozone jobless rate fell to 7.5% in August from 7.6% in July, data from the European Union's statistics agency, Eurostat, showed Thursday.


China's Manufacturing Weakens, as Power Cuts Threaten More Damage

BEIJING-China's manufacturing activity contracted in September, ending an 18-month expansion that powered the country's recovery from the pandemic, with power curbs in hubs threatening further disruption.

China's manufacturing purchasing managers index fell to 49.6 in September, the National Bureau of Statistics in Beijing said Thursday. That marks the gauge's first drop below the 50 mark that separates an expansion of activity from contraction since February 2020, when the metropolis of Wuhan and surrounding Hubei province were shut down to contain the fast-spreading virus.


Gas Markets Will Get Even More Exciting

Gas is the relatively clean fossil fuel many hoped would smooth the transition to low-carbon energy. Instead it is turning out to have its own transition problems.

Natural-gas prices around the world have jumped in recent months, lifting energy bills, stoking worries about higher inflation and even prompting factory shutdowns. The tight market can be attributed mainly to unexpectedly extreme weather, maintenance catch-up following the pandemic, supply bottlenecks and a dash of geopolitics.


Powell Says Supply-Chain Bottlenecks Could Lead to Somewhat Longer Interval of High Inflation

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said that a recent spell of higher inflation might last longer than central bank officials had anticipated, but he repeated his expectation that the price surge should eventually fade during a panel discussion on Wednesday.

Rising vaccination rates and nearly $2.8 trillion in federal spending approved since December have produced a recovery like none in recent memory. Inflation has soared this year, with so-called core prices that exclude volatile food and energy categories up 3.6% in July from a year earlier, using the Fed's preferred gauge. The gains largely reflect disrupted supply chains and shortages associated with the reopening of the economy.


House Republicans Confront Dilemma on Infrastructure Vote

WASHINGTON-Plenty of House Republicans support what is in the roughly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. The vast majority of them won't vote for it.

Unlike its passage in the Senate, where the infrastructure bill secured the support of 19 Republicans alongside all 50 members of the Democratic caucus, the bill faces a more complicated path in the House, where a much smaller slice of the caucus is expected to back the measure when it comes up for a vote as soon as Thursday.


Infrastructure Bill's Fate Uncertain Heading Into Planned House Vote

WASHINGTON-A crucial piece of President Biden's domestic agenda hung in the balance Thursday, as Democratic leaders moved toward a planned House vote on a $1 trillion infrastructure bill that many progressive Democrats have threatened to oppose.

Congress did appear poised to avert a government shutdown, with the Senate and then the House expected to easily approve a measure extending government funding through Dec. 3. Without passage of that bill, funding would expire and a partial government shutdown would begin at 12:01 a.m. EDT Friday.


Rohingya Civil-Rights Leader Mohib Ullah Killed in Bangladesh

A leader of the Rohingya Muslim community was shot and killed by unidentified gunmen in a refugee camp in Bangladesh, prompting calls from rights advocates for an investigation.

Mohib Ullah, who his colleagues say was 48 years old, was among the most high-profile advocates for the Rohingya, a stateless minority from Myanmar that was targeted in a 2017 military offensive that forced more than 740,000 to flee to neighboring Bangladesh. United Nations investigators have called for Myanmar army leaders to face genocide charges over the attacks.


North Korea Sees U.S. as Ongoing Threat, Kim Jong Un Says in Speech

SEOUL-Kim Jong Un said the U.S. threat against North Korea remains "utterly unchanged" under President Biden, accusing Washington of using increasingly cunning methods and words.

In a policy speech to his rubber-stamp legislature, Mr. Kim didn't mention or criticize Mr. Biden by name, though specified his assessment was proved by the American deeds done over the past eight months, according to a Thursday state-media report of his remarks. The North Korean leader ordered officials to take tactical measures that would firmly protect the country's sovereignty.


GM CEO Mary Barra to Lead Business Roundtable

General Motors Co. Chief Executive Mary Barra has been appointed the next chairman of the Business Roundtable, a trade group representing U.S. business interests in Washington, D.C.

On Jan. 1, Ms. Barra will take over as chairman of the coalition of chief executives of some of the biggest U.S. companies. She will be the first woman to lead the Business Roundtable.


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Economic Indicators (ET):

N/A Canada: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

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Expected Major Events for Thursday

01:00/JPN: Aug Steel Imports & Exports Statistics

04:30/JPN: Aug Preliminary Report on Petroleum Statistics

05:00/JPN: Aug Housing Starts

05:00/JPN: Aug Construction Orders

06:00/UK: 2Q Balance of Payments

06:00/UK: 2Q UK quarterly national accounts

06:00/UK: Sep Nationwide House Price Index

06:45/FRA: Aug PPI

06:45/FRA: Aug Household consumption expenditure in manufactured goods

06:45/FRA: Sep Provisional CPI

07:55/GER: Sep Labour market statistics (incl unemployment)

08:00/GER: Sep Bavaria CPI

08:00/GER: Sep Hesse CPI

08:00/GER: Sep Baden-Wuerttemberg CPI

08:00/ITA: Aug Unemployment

08:30/GER: Sep North Rhine Westphalia CPI

08:30/UK: 2Q Business investment revised results

09:00/GER: Sep Saxony CPI

09:00/ITA: Sep Provisional CPI

09:00/ITA: Sep Cities CPI

12:00/GER: Sep Provisional CPI

12:30/US: 2Q Revised Corporate Profits

12:30/US: 2Q 3rd estimate GDP

12:30/US: 09/25 Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report - Initial Claims

12:30/US: U.S. Weekly Export Sales

13:00/RUS: Weekly International Reserves

13:45/US: Sep Chicago Business Barometer - ISM-Chicago Business Survey - Chicago PMI

13:45/US: Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index

14:30/US: 09/24 EIA Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report

19:00/US: Aug Agricultural Prices

20:30/US: Foreign Central Bank Holdings

20:30/US: Federal Discount Window Borrowings

23:30/JPN: Aug Labour Force Survey

23:50/JPN: 3Q Tankan Survey of Enterprises in Japan

All times in GMT. Powered by Kantar Media and Dow Jones.


Expected Earnings for Thursday

AngioDynamics (ANGO) is expected to report $-0.15 for 1Q.

Bassett Furniture Industries Inc (BSET) is expected to report $0.30 for 3Q.

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc (BBBY) is expected to report $0.52 for 2Q.

CCUR Holdings Inc (CCUR) is expected to report for 3Q.

CarMax Inc (KMX) is expected to report $1.96 for 2Q.

Jefferies Financial Group Inc (JEF) is expected to report $0.85 for 3Q.

McCormick & Co (MKC) is expected to report $0.72 for 3Q.

Paychex Inc (PAYX) is expected to report $0.81 for 1Q.

US Global Investors (GROW) is expected to report for 4Q.

Powered by Kantar Media and Dow Jones.



Arch Resources Raised to Buy From Neutral by Citigroup

AutoNation Raised to Equal-Weight From Underweight by Morgan Stanley

Boeing Raised to Outperform From Market Perform by Bernstein

CDW Raised to Neutral From Underweight by JP Morgan

Conagra Brands Raised to Neutral From Underperform by Credit Suisse

Eli Lilly Raised to Buy From Neutral by Citigroup

Essex Property Raised to Buy From Neutral by Mizuho

HP Cut to Neutral From Overweight by JP Morgan

InnovAge Holding Cut to Neutral From Buy by Citigroup

Morgan Stanley Cut to Perform From Outperform by Oppenheimer

Occidental Petroleum Raised to Outperform From In-Line by Evercore ISI Group

This article is a text version of a Wall Street Journal newsletter published earlier today.


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 30, 2021 06:07 ET (10:07 GMT)

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