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Stocks fall in reaction to disappointing employment report

April 09, 2012|By Walter Hamilton
  • Stocks fall as investors worry over job growth.
Stocks fall as investors worry over job growth. (Stan Honda / Getty Images )

The stock-market softness that began last week accelerated Monday as investors finally got a chance to react to Friday’s disappointing employment report.

As of 9:20 a.m. Pacific, the Dow Jones industrial average was off 128.62 points, or 1%, to 12,931.68 – dropping the blue-chip index back below 13,000. The selling put the Dow on track for its second triple-digit loss in the last three trading days and only its third such decline this year.

Other market barometers are also down. The Standard & Poor’s 500 is off 16.26 points, or 1.2%, to 1,381.82. The Nasdaq composite index is down 33.17 points, or 1.1%, to 3,047.33.

The selling came in response to Friday’s report that the U.S. added 120,000 net new jobs in March, about half the rate of job growth of each of the preceding three months. The report raised concerns that economic  growth may slow later this year. The stock market was closed Friday in observance of Good Friday.

The Dow fell 1.2% last week as investors got jittery about the outlook for corporate earnings and the global economy after the market’s powerful rally this year, which drove the Dow to its best first-quarter gain since 1998.


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