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Survey: Small business owners stayed cautious ahead of election; optimism index barely moves

Small business owners remained cautious in October as they awaited the outcome of the presidential election.

That's the finding of the National Federation of Independent Business, which Tuesday released the results of a monthly survey of its members. It showed little change from September's results.

The NFIB's index of owner optimism rose 0.3 point to 93.1. It has fluctuated in a narrow range since the recession officially ended in June 2009.

The survey shows that owners grew more uncertain about how business will be six months from now. It also shows that hiring plans were unchanged: Just 4 percent of those surveyed planned to hire.

The survey was completed a week before the election. November's survey is likely to show whether the election results lifted owners' optimism.

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