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ADP payrolls data tops calendar

David Russell (david.russell@optionmonster.com)

Employment data leads today's calendar, though news on the federal government's shutdown could continue to overshadow economic releases.

The first event is the release of weekly mortgage applications at 7 a.m. ET. While the figure is unlikely to affect sentiment, trader will be watching to see if activity has improved with declining interest rates.

The European Central Bank follows with its monetary-policy announcement at 7:45 a.m. ET. The news could have some impact on trading, especially if it provides clues on the strength of the region's economy.

ADP's survey of private-sector payroll 8:15 a.m. ET is the most important release of the day. Economists expected 170,000 jobs to have been added last month, down from 176,000 in August. Higher readings are potentially bullish, while lower figures could be bearish.

Attention is likely to focus on Washington as Republicans and Democrats lock horns over delaying the Obamacare health-care law. The big risk is that the fight will continue without resolution and possibly merge with the debt-ceiling debate in mid-October. Investors have been unfazed so far, expecting a quick agreement.

The shutdown is also affecting the economic calendar because the Labor and Commerce departments are closed. That will likely delay the release of jobless claims and factory orders tomorrow, plus the key non-farm payrolls report Friday morning.

In earnings news, agribusiness giant Monsanto reports quarterly results before the opening bell today.

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