|From last week's Strategic Investor
Toronto, October 21, 2013
By John Stephenson
With the spat in Washington now over, investors have begun to focus their attention toward earnings season. While a spate of companies reporting earnings this week, the market’s attention will be solidly focused on the fundamentals rather than the sideshow in Washington. But the highlight of this week will undoubtedly be September’s delayed payrolls report. The unemployment rate may well remain at 7.3% during September but job growth in the remainder of the year will likely not keep pace with that of the first half. Any dip in the unemployment rate this month could be reversed in the October figures as shutdown jitters may have hit corporate hiring.
The impact of Congress’s hissy fit seems to have affected investor expectations with most assuming a mid-2014 start to the Fed’s proposed tapering of asset purchases. Most investors seem to be figuring that the Fed will not be in a position to cut back economic support before gauging the impact of the government slowdown and the debt ceiling debate on companies and consumers.