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<html> <head><style type ="text/css">body { font-family: "Bloomberg Prop Unicode I", Verdana, sans-serif; font-size:125%; letter-spacing: -0.3pt; color: #FF9F0F; background-color: #000000; text-align: left; } p {line-height: 1.25em; max-width:900px; width:expression(document.body.clientWidth > 900? "900px": "auto" );} h1, h2, h3 { text-align: left; font-weight: normal; color: #FFFFFF; } h1 { font-size: 130%; } h2 { font-size: 115%; } h3 { font-size: 100%; } #bb-style { font-size: 90%; max-width:900px; width:expression(document.body.clientWidth > 900? "900px": "auto" ); } b, strong { font-weight: bold; } i, em { color: #FEC54A; } pre { font-family: "Andale Mono", "Monaco", "Lucida Console"; letter-spacing: -0.3pt; line-height: 1.25em; } table { border: 0; font-size: 90%; width: 100%; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; } td, tr { text-align: left; } td.numeric { text-align: right; } a:link { color:#53B2F5; text-decoration: none; } a:visited {color:#53B2F5} a:active {color:#53B2F5} a:hover {color:#53B2F5} </style> </head> <body> <p>By Paula Dwyer</p> <p>Ever get the feeling of running in place but getting nowhere? You are: The S&amp;P 500 index closed yesterday, Oct. 3, at 1099.23. Eerily, that's exactly the level of the index's closing three years ago, on Oct. 3, 2008.</p> <p>You may recall that markets everywhere crashed shortly after that date -- the S&amp;P 500 tumbled to 752.44 by Oct. 20, 2008, and the global economy, already in recession, came very close to a global depression.</p> <p>Of course, history doesn't often repeat itself in lockstep. The index, for example, today shot up 4 percent to 1,123.95 in the final hour. Speculation that European officials are looking at ways of recapitalizing the region’s banks drove the late rally.</p> <p>Keep in mind also that auto sales were up in September, second-quarter GDP was revised upward, manufacturing activity picked up steam last month, and construction spending rose, for the third uptick in four months.</p> <p>The more important numbers, payrolls and the jobless rate, come Friday. If private-sector job creation is weak, stocks could sink further. The S&amp;P 500 is already down 17 percent since this year's high of 1363.61 on April 29.</p> <p>The median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of economists is that payrolls grew by 50,000 in September, after no change in August, and that the jobless rate will stay at 9.1 percent.</p> <p>(Paula Dwyer is a member of the Bloomberg View editorial board.)</p> <p><br class="spacer_"></p> <p><br class="spacer_"></p> </body> </html>