Markets Look to Jobs Data for Support

Wall Street is focused on jobs. ADP private employment data showed the private sector created about 162,000 jobs last month, better than the140,000 expected. Private payrolls were revised lower for August.

The September numbers from the government are out Friday morning. Economists on average are looking for a total number of nonfarm jobs created to come in at 113,000, while the unemployment rate is expected to remain at 8.1%.

Later today, the Institute for Supply Management reports on growth in the services sector of the economy.

Digesting all of this, U.S. stock futures are pointing to a modestly higher open. Yesterday, the Dow fell 33 points, while the Nasdaq and S&P rose.

American Airlines is getting unseated...again. The bankrupt carrier has now found improperly secured passenger seats on a total of six jets, and it's attributing the problem to incorrectly installed clamps.

American is inspecting 47 jets in all. The maintenance lapse is drawing attention because the airline used a maintenance subcontractor instead of its union. The unions are in a heated battle with the airline, especially its pilots union.

The latest flap poses a major PR nightmare for the carrier, in addition to recently cancelled flights and ahead of the all-important holiday travel season.

Meanwhile, toy retailers are upping the competition for the holidays. Reuters is reporting that Target (NYSE:TGT) is letting shoppers scan, buy, and ship a selection of toys while shopping in its stores. This way Mom can still surprise Junior if they're shopping together.  Starting October 14, Target will reportedly feature 20 toys at the front of its aisles promoted with signs featuring QR codes. Those are the squares with dark boxes and lines that you can scan while you're shopping and have shipped for free.

Toys R Us is matching competitors' prices for the first time ever. There are a few exceptions: the item can't be in limited supply or out of stock. Shoppers have seven days to show they found a lower in-store price somewhere else. The program works at Babies R Us, too.