Economic Data Continue to Point to Moderate Growth
· The trade balance narrowed again in the month of September to -$43.1 billion from -$44.9 billion in August. Exports helped to narrow the deficit, increasing 1.4 percent for the month.
· Small business optimism remained very depressed in October as NFIB survey respondents continued to be disappointed with the pace of sales growth.
· Initial jobless claims continued to trend down last week, falling by 10,000 to 390,000, indicating a slow, gradual pace of improvement on the employment front.