U.S. Economy Added 171,000 Jobs in October, Beating Estimates

Jack Welch has nothing to say about it. Yet.

The U.S. economy added 171,000 jobs last month, more jobs than economists expected last month, in a report that may benefit President Barack Obama’s hopes for re-election.

The numbers, which have been closely followed in political circles, showed unemployment rising to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent last month, hitting the average estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg. In a separate Bloomberg survey, economists estimated the U.S. would gain 125,000 jobs after adding 114,000 jobs last month.

While the jobs report has been overshadowed in recent days by the storm that rocked the East Coast, halting U.S. markets for two days and raising the specter of a delayed report, job stats have been a focal point amid a presidential campaign that has often focused on the slow pace of recovery in the U.S. economy.

Last month, after the unemployment rate dipped below 8 percent for the first time since 2009, former General Electric CEO Jack Welch questioned the validity of the numbers on Twitter, implying that the numbers had been doctored by the federal government to aid President Obama’s re-election campaign.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics revised the non-farm payroll jobs gained in September upward to 148,000, from 114,000, and said that Hurricane Sandy didn’t have a material affect on this month’s report.

Mr. Welch has yet to tweet on the October job numbers.

Elsewhere on Wall Street:

Royal Bank of Scotland said it would probably face fines over charges it manipulated inter-bank lending rates such as Libor.

The eight “systemically important” U.S. banks: Bank of America, Bank of New York Mellon, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, State Street and Wells Fargo.

America’s midsize banks, including U.S. Bancorp and PNC Financial, are opening their own lobbying shops, according to Bloomberg, in a nod to their differing imperatives from larger Wall Street banks.

Rhode Island is suing Barclays, Wells Fargo and former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling over inadequate disclosures pertaining to a $75 million loan the state facilitated for Mr. Schilling’s video game company, 38 Studios.

What can we make of this Barclays FERC thing? Besides, like, ha ha ha Barclays you sure like manipulating things?

Market Folly has notes on David Einhorn’s Iron Ore short idea.

The Times’sPeter Lattman on the Bruce-Bharara Bromance: “Before ripping into “Death to My Hometown,” a rollicking Celtic-inspired anthem, Mr. Springsteen shouted, “This is for Preet Bharara!” (Mr. Springsteen name-checks Mr. Bharara a YouTube clip about 22 seconds in.)”