Here’s what’s important in the business world this morning:
Jobs: ADP, which does its own private reports based on payrolls, announced Thursday morning that 158,000 private-sector jobs were created in October, “with service-providing jobs accounting for 144,000 positions and goods producing jobs responsible for 14,000 new jobs,” the Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch reports.
For this reports, ADP increased its sample size. They reason their new methodology will align their numbers better with the Labor Department's.
"Businesses are adding consistently to their payrolls. October's job gains were in line with the average monthly gains of the past two years, with sturdy albeit less than stellar growth across most industries and company sizes. Businesses have turned more cautious in recent months, but that has yet to impact their hiring and firing decisions," said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, in a statement.
China: Chinese shares led global markets higher on Thursday after surveys showed the country's manufacturing sector is improving and ahead a raft of U.S. jobs data that could affect to race to the White House.
Investors were breathing a sigh of relief that Chinese manufacturing is growing again after contracting in recent months. China's economy, the world's second-largest, has slowed this year and fears of a sharp downturn have weighed on the outlook for the global recovery.
But those concerns were eased somewhat by the two surveys, boosting stocks, particularly in Asia. In China, Shanghai Composite index rose over 1.7 percent, to 2,104.4, its biggest jump in three weeks, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 0.8 percent, to 21,821.8.
Germany's DAX was up 0.6 percent at 7,303 while the CAC-40 in France rose 0.6 percent to 3,450. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was 0.4 percent higher at 5,807.
Trading is pretty tepid elsewhere. The euro was down only 0.1 percent on the day at $1.2951, while the price of the benchmark oil contract in New York was up 16 cents at $86.40 a barrel.
Earnings: Drug giant Pfizer Inc. said Thursday that its third-quarter profit fell 14 percent as sales plunged, mainly due to U.S. generic competition to cholesterol fighter Lipitor, long the world's top-selling drug.
The New York-based maker of pain reliever Lyrica said net income was $3.21 billion, or 43 cents per share. That was down from $3.74 billion, or 48 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding one-time items, earnings were 53 cents per share. Analysts expected 52 cents.
Revenue fell 16 percent to $13.98 billion, well below expectations for $14.66 billion.
Meanwhile, Exxon Mobil says its profit fell 7 percent in the third quarter as it produced less oil and gas and fetched lower prices.
The nation's biggest oil company says that net income totaled $9.57 billion, down from $10.33 billion a year earlier.
That works out to $2.09 per share. Analysts expected $1.95 per share, according to FactSet.
Revenue fell 8 percent, to $115.71 billion, still better than the $112.40 billion that analysts had forecast.
The weak global economy has lowered demand for everything from gasoline to jet fuel. Fear about future growth has undercut prices for oil and natural gas.
U.S. Futures: Futures are mixed ahead of a bevy of corporate earnings reports that had been postponed due to the hurricane, and a number of economic indicators on consumers, manufacturing, construction and jobs.
Dow Jones industrial futures are down 2 points to 13,028. The broader S&P futures have fallen 1.2 points to 1,405.60. Nasdaq futures are up 2.75 points to 2,643.25.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.