JOB CUTS: Service companies cut workers last month for the first time in 13 months, a private survey said Wednesday. The pessimistic sign on the hiring front came two days before the government issues its September jobs report.
GROWING SLOWLY: Service companies grew in September at a slower pace than August, according to the Institute for Supply Management. Those businesses employ 90 percent of the U.S. work force. They include everything from hotels and restaurants to retailers and construction companies.
POSITIVE SIGNS: New orders rose to their highest level since May. Order backlogs grew for the first time in four months.