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Employers added a disappointing 148,000 jobs in September but the unemployment rate trickled down a touch to 7.2 percent, the government said Tuesday in a closely followed report more than two weeks late because of the partial government shutdown....

Even before the shutdown began, there was a lot of uncertainty about whether this holiday shopping season would be better or worse than the last. Anyone who's been out shopping lately knows retailers are worried, too....

With one fiscal crisis resolved, the next budget fights and political battles are beginning to take shape. President Barack Obama is calling for Congress to come up with a "balanced" year-end budget deal as lawmakers ready for the first budget conference committee in four years....