U.S. stocks tumbled on Friday and the major averages all ended notably lower as concerns about the potential fallout from the implosions of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Silvergate Capital triggered a sell-off in the financial sector.
Investors also digested the crucial non-farm payroll data for the month of February. The data showing an acceleration in U.S. job growth raised concerns the Fed will continue to remain aggressive with regard to interest rate hikes.
SVB Financial Group, which specializes in venture-capital financing, announced it had suffered significant losses on its portfolio.
Separately, crypto banking giant Silvergate said it planned to close as the sector faces more turmoil, raising concerns about the wider financial sector.
The Dow ended down 345.22 points or 1.07 percent at 31,909.64. The S&P 500 closed lower by 56.73 points or 1.45 percent at 3,861.59, while the Nasdaq dropped 199.47 points or 1.76 percent to settle at 11,138.89.
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.
Caterpillar tanked nearly 6 percent. Goldman Sachs, American Express, Salesforce.com and Walt Disney lost 2.5 to 4.3 percent.
Microsoft, Visa, Apple and 3M also ended notably lower.
Shares of Signature Bank and First Republic Bank tanked nearly 20 percent.
Intel rallied nearly 3 percent. JP Morgan Chase surged about 2.6 percent. Boeing, Wells Fargo, Travelers Companies and Amgen also posted gains.
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 also ended sharply lower. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 dropped 1.67 percent, while Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC ended lower by 1.31 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.
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