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U.S. Stocks Move Sharply Lower On Troubling Jobs Data

wallstreet3 03apr20 lt

After ending the previous session mostly higher, stocks have moved back to the downside during trading on Friday.

In recent trading, the major averages have fallen to new lows for the session. The Dow is down 388.27 points or 1.8 percent at 21,025.17, the Nasdaq is down 120.77 points or 1.6 percent at 7,366.54 and the S&P 500 is down 43.70 points or 1.7 percent at 2,483.20.

The weakness on Wall Street comes after a report from the Labor Department showed employment in the U.S. fell much more than expected in the month of March.

The report said employment plunged by 701,000 jobs in March after jumping by an upwardly revised 275,000 jobs in February.

Economists had expected employment to slump by 100,000 jobs compared to the addition of 273,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

With the much bigger than expected drop in employment, the unemployment rate surged up to 4.4 percent in March from 3.5 percent in February. The unemployment rate had been expected to climb to 3.8 percent.

Oil stocks are pulling back sharply following the rally seen in the previous session, with the NYSE Arca Oil Index plunging by 3.8 percent.

Significant weakness is also visible among steel stocks, as reflected by 3.2 percent slump by the NYSE Arca Steel Index.

Tobacco, housing, and utilities stocks are also seeing considerable weakness, moving lower along with most of the other major sectors.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a lackluster performance during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index closed just above the unchanged line, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dipped by 0.2 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the downside on the day. While the German DAX Index has fallen by 0.5 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index are both down by 1.4 percent.

In the bond, treasuries have moved higher after ending the previous session little changed. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 4.8 basis points at 0.579 percent.

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