Stocks moved sharply lower at the start of trading on Friday, as traders reacted to a disappointing monthly jobs report. The major averages all showed notable moves to the downside at the open after ending the previous session mixed.
The major averages have seen some further downside in the past few minutes, falling to new lows for the young session. The Dow is down 124.65 points or 1 percent at 12,772.02, the Nasdaq is down 28.44 points or 1 percent at 2,947.68 and the S&P 500 is down 13.11 points or 1 percent at 1,354.47.
The initial weakness on Wall Street was largely due to the release of a report from the Labor Department showing that employment increased by less than anticipated in the month of June.
The Labor Department said non-farm payroll employment rose by 80,000 jobs in June compared to economist estimates for an increase of about 100,000 jobs.
Despite the continued job growth during the month, the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 8.2 percent, in line with economist estimates.
Peter Boockvar, managing director at Miller Tabak, said, "Bottom line, the 3rd straight month of job growth below 100,000 is pathetic."
"The weakness in April and May were likely due to some weather give back from strength over the winter, but June is more likely being negatively influenced from the growing global economic moderation that will likely intensify in the 2nd half," he added.
Steel stocks have shown a notable downward move amid concerns about demand, dragging the NYSE Arca Steel Index down by 2.5 percent. The index is pulling back further off the one-month closing high that it set on Tuesday.
Considerable weakness has also emerged among gold stocks, which are moving lower along with the price of the precious metal. Networking, software, and computer hardware stocks are also under pressure, moving to the downside along with most of the major sectors.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index fell by 0.7 percent, while Australia's All Ordinaries Index edged down by 0.3 percent. Meanwhile, China's Shanghai Composite Index bucked the downtrend and rose by 1 percent.
The major European markets have also moved to the downside on the day. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is down by 0.5 percent, while the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are down by 1.1 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.
In the bond market, treasuries have moved moderately higher on the heels of the disappointing jobs data. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 3.4 basis points at 1.563 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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