This week, the spotlight falls on Washington as the first phase of President Obama’s signature health-care law takes effect and lawmakers jockey for advantage on federal budget policy. A new month also brings updates on the country’s employment situation.


The Institute of Supply Management releases its September manufacturing index at 10 a.m. The index is expected to rise to 55, from 54. Readings above 50 indicate the manufacturing sector is growing.

Construction spending for August is expected to increase by 0.4 percent in August, although analysts expect much of the increase to be focused in the nonresidential sector. The rate of construction of new homes has been slow to catch up with housing demand.

The latest auto-sales numbers are due out today. Analysts expect sales to weaken slightly to a 15.5 million unit annual rate, from a 16.1 million annual rate in August.

The first phase of the Affordable Care Act goes into effect as health insurance exchanges open across the country.

The country’s latest employment report is out at 8:30 a.m. Friday. (Jonathan Alcorn/Reuters)

The payroll-processing firm ADP releases its private-sector employment report for September, a precursor to the jobs numbers on Friday. Analysts expect the number of jobs added to remain the same as August, at 176,000.


Weekly jobless claims are expected to rise to 314,000, from 305,000 last week.

ISM releases its September nonmanufacturing index at 10 a.m. The index, which reflects the health of the service sector, is expected to drop to 57, a month after it expanded at the fastest pace since 2005. The index touched 58.6 in August.

Factory orders for August are forecast to increase by 0.2 percent, after falling nearly 2.5 percent the previous month due to increased demand for non-durable goods.

Chain-store sales for September are released through the day.


The country’s latest employment report is out at 8:30 a.m. Last month, the jobs report painted a lackluster picture of growth and job creation in the economy. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 7.3 percent, and the number of jobs added was 169,000.

This time around, experts think the rate will continue to be 7.3 percent, and the number of jobs added will be up to 180,000.