CNN Business Before the Bell

CNN's Christine Romans has the day's top business headlines before the opening bell on Wall Street on Thursday, November 1.

Posted: Nov 2, 2018 12:44 AM
Updated: Nov 2, 2018 12:46 AM

Economists expect positive October jobs numbers from the Labor Department on Friday.

In a poll conducted by Refinitiv, economists estimate that the economy added 190,000 new jobs in October, despite continued disruption from hurricanes. That would equal the average over the 20 months since Trump took office.

They also anticipate that the unemployment rate held steady at its 49-year low of 3.7%. Paychecks are also expected to grow faster than they have in recent years.

The employment cost index released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Wednesday showed wages and salaries rose 2.9% over the year ending in September.

A strong jobs number could give President Donald Trump a potential boost heading into the last weekend of the campaign. It would shore up Trump's economic message going into the weekend, after a month of market turmoil that has mostly erased gains for the year for the major indices.

At a White House event promoting workforce training on Wednesday, Trump touted the fact that for several months job openings have exceeded the number of people looking for work for the first time since the Bureau of Labor Statistics started tracking openings in 2000.

"You didn't have a choice just a few years ago, and now you have a choice," Trump said. "We actually need workers now. That's a good thing to be saying."

The economy also grew at a quick clip in the third quarter, posting 3.5% growth propelled largely by government and consumer spending. Consumer confidence reached its highest level in 18 years in October.

However, signs of trouble are looming on the horizon.

Most economists expect growth to slow down as any effect from the business tax cuts wear off. Business investment already slowed markedly in the third quarter, especially on commercial buildings.

The housing market has also run into trouble as the Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates. New monthly home sales have fallen 22% since their post-recession high of 712,000 in November 2017 and new residential investment has declined for the past three quarters.

Although inflation remains low, that may start to change. Manufacturers across the country are reporting sharp increases in costs for raw materials, partly as a consequence of the White House's tariffs, and they're starting to pass them on to clients as much as they can.

The National Association of Business Economics' business conditions survey, which asks 127 corporate economists how their firms are doing, found that their price index reached the highest point since 2006 in October. Among goods-producing companies, 38% said they had delayed investments because of the ongoing trade war.

None of this is expected to lead to a crash similar to what happened a decade ago — but the risk of a recession rises if the tariff tit-for-tat between the United States and the rest of the world escalates enough to freeze international trade, or if the Fed starts raising interest rates too fast in response to the labor market overheating. As minutes of recent Fed meetings and speeches by Fed presidents indicate, they're well aware of the dangers.

Said Atlanta Fed president Ralph Bostic: "I intend to weigh the risk of acting too swiftly and choking off the expansion against the risk of having the economy overheat and get into a situation with rising inflation and inflation expectations that would necessitate a muscular policy response."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 39133

Reported Deaths: 1514
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin12597787
Ramsey4963229
Dakota242192
Stearns241419
Anoka2266109
Nobles16726
Olmsted114715
Washington113740
Mower9602
Rice8488
Scott7624
Clay59138
Kandiyohi5781
Blue Earth4942
Wright4835
Todd4012
Carver3951
Lyon3272
Sherburne3255
Freeborn2970
Watonwan2380
Steele2371
Benton2203
St. Louis19615
Nicollet17312
Martin1715
Cottonwood1360
Goodhue1318
Winona12915
Crow Wing10812
Le Sueur1081
Pine1070
Chisago1021
Otter Tail1001
McLeod920
Dodge880
Carlton870
Unassigned8537
Polk822
Chippewa791
Isanti750
Waseca710
Douglas650
Murray650
Itasca6412
Meeker611
Morrison611
Faribault600
Pipestone592
Becker570
Jackson550
Sibley542
Pennington520
Renville362
Beltrami340
Brown342
Mille Lacs342
Wabasha330
Rock310
Fillmore300
Yellow Medicine300
Houston270
Swift221
Wilkin213
Norman200
Redwood190
Koochiching181
Grant170
Roseau170
Cass162
Aitkin150
Big Stone150
Kanabec151
Wadena150
Marshall120
Pope120
Lincoln100
Mahnomen101
Clearwater90
Hubbard80
Lake60
Stevens50
Traverse50
Lac qui Parle40
Red Lake40
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 32064

Reported Deaths: 731
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk6739181
Woodbury326044
Black Hawk232358
Buena Vista171911
Johnson13408
Linn130482
Dallas129129
Marshall106019
Scott84510
Story8063
Pottawattamie74512
Dubuque74222
Wapello70830
Crawford6783
Muscatine64944
Sioux4810
Tama46829
Wright3851
Louisa36313
Jasper32517
Plymouth3245
Warren2911
Dickinson2663
Webster2484
Washington2459
Cerro Gordo1901
Hamilton1891
Boone1501
Clay1370
Allamakee1334
Clarke1333
Mahaska11717
Shelby1170
Clinton1131
Poweshiek1078
Carroll991
Pocahontas981
Bremer957
Franklin950
Des Moines912
Emmet870
Henry863
Cedar851
Hardin810
Taylor800
Monona770
Cherokee761
Floyd732
Marion710
Benton681
Guthrie684
Jones640
Sac640
Jefferson620
Osceola620
Buchanan601
Butler592
Hancock551
Humboldt551
Calhoun542
Harrison540
Lee542
Iowa530
Delaware511
Monroe517
Fayette500
Madison482
Lyon450
Clayton443
Davis411
Mitchell410
Palo Alto410
Grundy400
Mills390
Winneshiek390
Kossuth360
Howard340
Jackson340
Union340
Lucas314
Chickasaw290
Greene290
Winnebago290
Cass240
Ida230
Appanoose213
Keokuk211
Van Buren210
Page200
Worth200
Adair160
Audubon161
Unassigned160
Ringgold150
Decatur120
Montgomery102
Wayne100
Adams80
Fremont80
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