You Have Until 4 O'Clock To Sell Everything

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Or else you will be unprepared for next month's market apocalypse.

In the coming month, markets face four huge tests: the Washington debt crisis, the release of September employment data, third-quarter earnings releases and the Federal Reserve’s next policy meeting.

All four of these horsemen could disrupt investments, and some could tank the market. Money managers hope all will be nonevents and stocks will finish the year higher. But there are no guarantees. Many people are delaying decisions, with some betting on an October market dive. Optimists might use that as a chance to buy in cheaper.

Those of you who, for some reason or other, choose not to move entirely into gold over the next few minutes will at least have something to get excited about on Friday, maybe.

The Labor Department may release the September jobs report next week even if the federal government is partially shut down, according to planning documents made public Friday.

In a memo from Bureau of Labor Statistics Commissioner Erica Groshen to her superiors, Ms. Groshen said the administration could authorize the department to release a “principal federal economic indicator” after a shutdown occurs. The employment report, scheduled for release next Friday, is one of those indicators.

In the memo, Ms. Groshen references the release of the Consumer Price Index report, also a principal indicator, after the government was shutdown in 1995. “The risk of disclosure of the CPI data during a shutdown was deemed to be unacceptable,” she said.

Signs Raise Threat of a Red October [WSJ MoneyBeat blog]
Wall Street Uneasy in Face of Government Shutdown [DealBook]
Jobs Report Could Be Released Even in Shutdown [WSJ Real Time Economics blog]

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