Friday's rosier than expected September employment picture touched off volatile Treasury market trading, but corporate bonds remained largely unchanged.

"Treasuries were off this morning, but corporate spreads have remained pretty stable," one high-grade trader said.

"The [corporate] market's very slow; the number really didn't excite people, but it didn't turn them away, either," another trader said.

Treasuries were down about 5/8 Friday morning, but recouped some losses to end narrowly mixed. The primary market saw more than $2 billion of new issues Friday. Securities Data Co. figures show $4.797 billion of new debt through Thursday. The Newark, N.J., firm's figures are for straight corporate debt, including agency issues but excluding mortgage- and asset-backed issues.

David Blitzer, chief economist at Standard & Poor's Corp., said it's unlikely Friday's unemployment number will push the Federal Reserve to ease monetary policy.

"It's not enough to move the Fed," he said. But, on the other hand, "it suggests the economy is sitting still and not doing anything."

While the data proved less gloomy than predictions called for shortly before the data's release, the number was not far off estimates made during the preceding week, Mr. Blitzer said.

The number offered a little bit for everyone, he added. President Bush's camp can point to the decline in the unemployment rate to 7.5% from 7.6% in August, while challenger Bill Clinton's people can cite the nonfarm payrolls figure, which showed 57,000 fewer people at work, the economist said.

The Fed will likely sit tight at least until after the election, Mr. Blitzer said.

"The closer you get to elections, the more it looks political and the less they like it," he said.

In the high-yield market Friday, prices held up "very well," gaining about 1/8 point despite heavy new-issue volume and the liquidation of a $65 million collateralized bond obligation deal by Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Elsewhere, E-II Holdings Inc. said the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for New York's Southern District approved its disclosure statement for its amended reorganization plan.

"We are delighted at the swift pace with which the bankruptcy plan process is progressing," Steven J. Green, the company's chairman and chief executive officer, said in a release.

New Issues

CMS Energy Corp. issued a two-part senior deferred coupon note offering totaling $440 million. The series A portion consisted of $172 million notes due 1997 that have a zero coupon for three years and then moves to 9.5%. The noncallable notes were priced at 75.396 and have a 9.625% yield to maturity.

The $268 million series B notes have a zero coupon for three years, which moves to 9.875%. The notes are callable after three years at 101.646. They were priced at 74.461 and have a 10% yield to maturity. Moody's Investors Service rates the offering Ba3, while Standard & Poor's rates it BB-plus. Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Inc. lead managed the offering.

Household Finance Corp. issued $300 million of 6.250% senior notes due 1997 at par. The noncallable notes were priced to yield 101 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Moody's rates the offering A3, while Standard & Poor's rates it A. Salomon Brothers Inc. lead managed the offering.

Foamex LP and Foamex Capital Corp. issued a two-part offering totaling $276 million.

The first tranche consisted of $150 million of 11.25% senior notes due 2002 at par. The bonds are callable after five years at 104.219, moving to par in the 10th year. Moody's rates the notes B1, while Standard & Poor's rates them B-plus.

The second tranche consisted of $126 million of 11.875% senior subordinated debentures due 2004. The debentures are callable after five years at 105.938, moving to par in the 10th year. The debentures were priced at 99.227 to yield 12%. Moody's rates the debentures B3, while Standard & Poor's rates them B-minus. Donaldson Lufkin managed the offering.

American Home Products issued $250 million of 6.5% notes due 2002. The notes were offered at various prices. Both Moody's and Standard & Poor's rate the offering triple-A. First Boston Crop. sole managed the offering.

Aztar Corp. issued $200 million of 11% senior subordinated notes due 2002 at par. The bonds are callable after five years at 103, moving to par in 1999. Moody's rates the offering B2, while Standard & Poor's rates it B. Salomon Brothers lead managed the offering.

Dow Chemical issued $150 million of 4.625% notes due 1995. The noncallable notes were priced at 99.818 to yield 4.69%, or 50 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Moody's rates the offering A1, while Standard & Poor's rates it A. Lehman Brothers lead managed the offering.

Northern Trust issued $100 million of 3.1% bank notes due 1993. The noncallable notes were priced initially at par and were issued at various prices. They were priced to yield 10 basis points over the one-year Treasury bill. Moody's rates the offering Aa3, while Standard & Poor's rates it AA-minus. Goldman Sachs managed the offering.

Penn Traffic Co. issued $100 million of 10.375% senior notes due 2004. Callable after five years at 104, the notes were priced at 99.153 to yield 10.50%. Moody's rates the offering Ba3, while Standard & Poor's rates it B. Goldman Sachs managed the offering.

Dillard Department Stores issued $100 million of 7.85% debentures due 2012 at par. The debentures were priced to yield 50 basis points over 30-year Treasuries. Moody's rates the offering A2, while Standard & Poor's rates it A-plus. Goldman Sachs managed the offering.

Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. issued $100 million of 4.27% notes due 1995 at par. Noncallable for a year, the notes were priced to yield 12 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Goldman Sachs managed the offering.

Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. issued $100 million of 5.42% notes due 1997 at par. Noncallable for a year, the notes were priced to yield 21 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Goldman Sachs managed the offering.

Comerica, Bank issued $50 million of 3.2% bank notes due 1993. The noncallable notes were priced initially at par to yield 22 basis points over the one-year Treasury bills. They were reoffered at various prices through Lehman. Moody's rates the offering A1, while Standard & Poor's rates it A.

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