NEW YORK -- Stocks slumped in early trading Friday as investors weighed what August's unemployment report could mean for continued Federal Reserve stimulus.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 109.25 points, or 0.73%, to 14,828.23 shortly after the opening bell.
The broader Standard & Poor's 500 shed 8.71 points, or 0.53%, to 1,646.37. The technology-focused Nasdaq composite index lost 25.09 points, or 0.69%, to 3,633.69.
The federal government Friday morning issued a lackluster report on the nation's labor market in August. The U.S. economy added 169,000 net new jobs in August, fewer than the 177,000 analysts had expected, and the Labor Department revised significantly downward earlier months' job gains.
The Labor Department said the unemployment rate ticked lower to 7.3%, from 7.4% in July.
The Fed has signaled that it could begin scaling back its extraordinary monetary stimulus program as early as this month, depending on how data portray the economy's health.