Stocks down on job report
BY STEVE ROTHWELL, AP Markets Writer
NEW YORK -- Stocks fell on Wall Street Friday after the government reported a sharp slowdown in hiring last month that was worse than economists had expected.
The Dow Jones industrial average ended 40.86 points lower at 14,565.25, a loss of 0.3 percent. The index was down as much as 171 points in the early going, then rose gradually through the rest of the day to reclaim much of its early loss.
U.S. employers added just 88,000 jobs in March, the Labor Department reported. That's half the average of the previous six months. The report was a disappointment for investors.
The survey, one of the most closely watched indicators of the economy, dented investors' confidence that the U.S. was poised for a sustained recovery. The stock market has surged this year, pushing the Dow to another record high close on Tuesday. The index is still up 11.2 percent this year.
Investors will shift their focus to earnings reports next week. Alcoa, the first company in the Dow index to report earnings, will release its first-quarter results after the markets close Monday.