Futures held their gains Wednesday even after a report that the private sector hired fewwer workers than expected. Investors were encouraged following news that President Obama suggested the White House had a range of policy options that could create up to a million new jobs.
Obama must boost growth and bring down unemployment to be confident of winning another White House term in the November 2012 general election. Economists are skeptical he will get Congress to agree to significant new spending on jobs.
On the employment front, private sector job growth slowed for the second month in August with employers adding 91,000 jobs, according to payrolls processor ADP. Economists had expected a gain of 100,000 jobs, according to Reuters.
Meanwhile, outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported that planned layoffs fell 23 percent to 51,114 in August.
The Institute of Supply Management Chicago releases August index of manufacturing activity at 9:45 am in New York Economists polled by Reuters forecast a reading of 53.5 in the month compared with 58.8 in July.