U.S. Stocks Seeing Further Downside Following Jobs Report

Stocks have moved mostly lower during trading on Friday, extending the sell-off seen over the past few sessions. The major averages have all moved to the downside, with the Dow hitting its lowest intraday level in four months.

Currently, the major averages are off their lows of the session but still in negative territory. The Dow is down 78.19 points or 0.2 percent at 32,176.67, the Nasdaq is down 101.98 points or 0.9 percent at 11,236.38 and the S&P 500 is down 24.81 points or 0.6 percent at 3,893.51.

The weakness on Wall Street comes following the release of a closely watched Labor Department showing employment in the U.S. jumped by much more than expected in the month of February.

The Labor Department said non-farm payroll employment shot up by 311,000 jobs in February after spiking by a revised 504,000 jobs in January.

Economists had expected employment to increase by 205,000 jobs compared to the surge of 517,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

Despite the stronger than expected job growth, the report said the unemployment rate rose to 3.6 percent in February from 3.4 percent in January. The unemployment rate was expected to be unchanged.

Concerns about the banking sector also continue to weigh on Wall Street following SVB Financial’s announcement of plans to raise more than $2 billion in capital in a bid to offset losses from bond sales.

Airline stocks have moved sharply lower on the day, resulting in a 3.4 percent nosedive by the NYSE Arca Airline Index.

Substantial weakness is also visible among brokerage stocks, as reflected by the 3.1 percent plunge by the NYSE Arca Broker/Dealer Index. The index has tumbled to its lowest level in over two months.

Banking stocks are also extending the sell-off seen in the previous session, with the KBW Bank Index slumping by 1.7 percent.

Computer hardware, software and commercial real estate stocks are also seeing notable weakness, while gold stocks have moved sharply higher along with the price of the precious metal.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index tumbled by 1.7 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index dove by 1.4 percent.

The major European markets have also shown significant moves to the downside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has plunged by 1.8 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index are down by 1.6 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries have moved sharply higher amid the continued weakness on Wall Street. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down 20.3 basis points at 3.722 percent.

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