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Cortes: Forget Jobs Report—Here's a Better Market 'Tell'

With a better than expected unemployment claims report and a mildly optimistic figure from payroll processor ADP released Thursday, the “Fast Money” traders set their sights on Friday’s jobs report.

According to a Reuters’ survey, the non-farm payrolls are expected to have increased 60,000 in September, after being flat in August.

So, what’s the trade ahead of that report?

Steve Cortes said forget the jobs figures. He thinks rather than selling the number, the better tell is in staffing stocks like Manpower . Cortes pointed out that MAN has had a “horrific” run this year, and is down about 40 percent.

“That tells me that the labor market is simply not improving,” he said. “I’d pay much more attention to that—where people are actually buying and selling these companies—rather than the labor stats."

Steve Grasso had his eye on the the retailers. He thinks they are front loaded and would sell them off of Thursday’s pop.

“Regardless of the number we get, it’s probably already factored in,” he said.

And Patty Edwards would rather be flat going into the report, and make her move afterwards.

As for the retailers, Edwards is longNordstrom and longTarget , but has a hedge against both names right now.


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Trader disclosure: On Oct 6, 2011, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders; Adami Owns (AGU); Adami Owns (C); Adami Owns (GS); Adami Owns (INTC); Adami Owns (MSFT); Adami Owns (NUE); Adami Owns (BTU); Cortes is long CAG; Cortes is long SO; Cortes is long PEET; Cortes is short Nasdaq futures vs. long S&P futures; Edwards is long APA; Edwards is long XLK; Edwards is long RSW; Grasso owns AKS; Grasso owns ASTM; Grasso owns BA; Grasso owns BAC; Grasso owns D; Grasso owns LIT; Grasso owns MHY; Grasso owns PFE; Grasso owns PRST; Grasso owns S; Grasso owns XLU; Nathan is long AAPL October calls

For Patty Edwards
Trutina Financial is long JWN
Trutina Financial is long TGT
Trutina Financial is long COST
Trutina Financial is long AAPL
Trutina Financial is long SDS

For Steve Grasso
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own CSCO
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own CUBA
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own FDX
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own GERN
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own HPQ
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own HSPO
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own JPM
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own MET
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own MSFT
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own MU
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own NYX
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own PFE
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own PRST
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own UAL

For Peter Boockvar
No disclosures

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