Stocks finished deeply in negative territory Friday, after the government reported that hiring slowed in April, fueling worries over the strength of the economic recovery.
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq posted their biggest weekly drop this year.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell for a third-consecutive session, tumbling 168.32, or 1.27 percent, to close at 13,038.27, led by BofA and Cisco .
The S&P 500 fell 22.47, or 1.61 percent, to finish at 1,369.10. The Nasdaq plunged 67.96, or 2.25 percent, to end at 2,956.34.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, surged to close near 19.
For the week, the Dow erased 1.44 percent, the S&P 500 shed 2.44 percent, and the Nasdaq dropped 3.68 percent. BofA was the biggest laggard on the Dow for the week, while Merck gained.
Nine out of the ten key S&P sectors ended lower, led by techs, while telecoms eked out a small gain.
Non-farm payrolls rose much less than expected, with employers adding just 115,000 jobs in April, well below expectations for 170,000 according to a Reuters survey. Still, the unemployment rate slipped to 8.1 percent, hitting the lowest since January 2009.
“It’s crystal clear that the economic recovery is in doubt—you have an economy that is in need of organic growth and you’re not getting it from these reports,” said Todd Schoenberger, managing principal at The BlackBay Group. “Participation rate dropped and average working hours are down—if you’re lucky enough to have a job, your spending power is still down.”
Oil prices dropped sharply tosettle near $98 a barrel, pressured by the jobs report. Southwestern Energy was the biggest laggard in the sector after the firm posted disappointing earnings.
Despite the disappointing report, traders say the jobs number was not weak enoughto force the Fed's hand on a new round of stimulus, which has been a positive catalyst for stocks.
"Stock market bulls should be forewarned: The bottom-line from this report is that the momentum in the labor market is slowing, but not enough to bring the Fed off the sidelines for an additional round of asset purchases," according to a BofA Merrill Lynch research note.