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Why a weak jobs report could jar stocks

IN THE NEWS TODAY

U.S. stock futures were higher this morning, ahead of the 8:30 a.m. ET release of the government's September employment report. The data could have implications on whether the Fed hikes interest rates this year. (CNBC)

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters estimated nonfarm payrolls growth of 203,000 for last month. That compares to 173,000 in August. The unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged at 5.1 percent in September. (CNBC)

A positive Friday could put stocks near breakeven for the week, after another series of volatile swings. A gain by the S&P 500 would give the index a four-day win streak for the first time since January. (CNBC)

Bill Ackman's Pershing Square Holdings fund lost 12.5 percent in September, pushing the hedge fund down about that much for the year, after one of the major holdings Valeant (VRX) tanked. (Reuters)

Oil prices were higher this morning, after surging 4 percent in early trading Thursday before giving up those gains. The volatility can be partly attributed to a strain on U.S.-Russia relations over Syria. (Reuters)

Joaquin was stalled over the Bahamas today. But the powerful hurricane appears to be on track to head out to sea afterward, likely missing the East Coast. But another storm is set to bring heavy rain anyway. (NBC News)

At least 10 people were killed and seven others were injured when a gunman who demanded to know his victims' religions opened fire Thursday on a community college campus in southwest Oregon. (NBC News)

During a televised statement following the school shooting, President Barack Obama took those who oppose gun limits to task, saying their answer to such tragedies is more guns, not fewer. (NBC News)

T-Mobile US (TMUS) customers, some 15 million, were victims of a data breach at credit reporting agency Experian. The hack occurred from September 2013 through last month. (Reuters)

Over a billion Android devices could be at risk of being hacked by listening to an audio file or watching videos, because of a new bug in Google's (GOOGL) mobile operating system. (CNBC)

Sprint (S) plans to cut as much as $2.5 billion in costs over the next six months. The Wall Street Journal quoted an internal memo, saying jobs would be cut and an external hiring freeze would be put in place.

The top U.S. executive at Volkwagen is set to testify next week before a congressional panel about the German automaker's emissions cheating involving 11 million vehicles worldwide. (Reuters)

With its stock still wobbly after hitting an all-time low Monday, commodity giant Glencore fought this week to reassure investors, employees and counterparties, with mixed results. (CNBC)

Health insurers will lose about $2.5 billion because patients covered through Obamacare last year were sicker than expected, according to new government figures. (AP)

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said the federal debt ceiling is expected to be reached around Nov. 5. In a letter to lawmakers, he wrote the government would likely have less than $30 billion in cash at that point. (CNBC)

In his new memoir released Monday, former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke recalls the September weekend in 2008 when regulators sought desperately but in vain to save the investment bank Lehman Brothers. (AP)

Bernanke joins CNBC's "Squawk Box" for one hour on Monday, starting at 8 a.m. ET, to talk about the extraordinary measures taken in the aftermath of the financial crisis and the exit plan for the current Fed.

BY THE NUMBERS

In addition to the jobs report, the government releases August factory orders at 10 a.m. ET. Economists see a 1.2 percent decline, following a 0.4 percent increase in July.

Seven Fed-related speeches are scheduled at various times today and tomorrow, including Friday addresses from Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker, Boston's Eric Rosengren, Minneapolis's Naryana Kocherlakota, Cleveland's Loretta Mester, St. Louis's James Bullard, and Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer. On Saturday morning, it's New York Fed President Bill Dudley's turn.

STOCKS TO WATCH

No major companies report earnings today, but late Thursday, Micron Technology (MU) beat on profit and revenue estimates. The chipmaker expects demand to stabilize in the near term and then improve next year.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) plans to cut its workforce by 500 jobs, or about 5 percent, and take a restructuring charge of $42 million. The maker of semiconductors expects to save about $58 million next year.

Nordstrom (JWN) announced a special dividend of $4.85 per share, and the retailer also unveiled a new $1 billion share repurchase program.

Bank of America's (BAC) Merrill Lynch unit must face a class action shareholder suit for the firm's role in the 2014 buyout of Zale by Signet Jewelers, with investors claiming they were short-changed.

Novartis (NVS) received FDA approval for a biosimilar copy of Amgen's (AMGN) best-swelling Enbrel rheumatoid arthritis drug.

WATERCOOLER

Moon Express, a startup that wants to mine the lunar surface for rare and precious metals, took one step closer to making its plans a reality, signing a deal for three robotic moon craft launches starting in 2017. (CNBC)

The U.S. Postal Service released today new "A Charlie Brown Christmas" stamps in celebration of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the classic TV special, which originally aired on Dec. 9, 1965. (USA Today)