Wall Street Falls as U.S. Economy Creates Fewer Jobs Than Forecast

Jobs ReportU.S. stocks fell sharply on Friday after data showed that employment gains in the world’s largest economy slowed more than expected in January.

As of 10:37 a.m. in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.7% to 16,295, the S&P 500 declined one percent to 1,896, and the NASDAQ Composite tanked 1.7%.

The U.S. created 151,000 new jobs in January, the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics said on Friday. That was far below the 190,000 jobs economists had forecast on average, according to Reuters. The government said 262,000 new jobs were created in December instead of 292,000.

The unemployment rate, meanwhile, fell below five percent for the first time in eight years, dropping to 4.9%.

The slowness in employment growth may further lower the possibility for a Fed interest rate increase in March.

The downbeat jobs report pulled down crude oil futures, reversing earlier gains. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were down 0.8% at $31.49 at 10:11 a.m. Oil prices have been volatile since the beginning of the year.

European markets also reversed gains to trade lower following the latest U.S. jobs data report. The pan-European STOXX 600 was down around 0.3%.

Gold for April delivery shed 0.7% to $1,149 an ounce on the Comex.

Wall Street ended in positive territory on Thursday after tracking fluctuations in oil prices throughout much of day. The S&P 500 closed up 0.2% at 1,915.45. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.5% to close at 16,416.58. Meanwhile, the NASDAQ 100 finished up 0.1%, to 4,509.56.

LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) plummeted 43% to $110.00 after the world’s largest professional networking web site provided a lousy profit and revenue outlook for its current quarter. LinkedIn cited weakness in its recruitment services business in Asia and Europe.

Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC) rallied 10% to $21.07 after the anti-virus software maker said it’s getting a $500-million investment from Silver Lake Management LLC and will return $5.5 billion to shareowners after the recent sale of its storage division.

Tableau Software Inc (NYSE:DATA) crashed 50% to an all-time low of $40.04 after the data analysis firm warned it was unlikely to benefit from certain tax assets.

Hanesbrands Inc. (NYSE:HBI) tumbled 15% to $24.99. Weak consumer traffic in the U.S. spurred the apparel maker to post a 7.4% sales decline for the fourth quarter and provide a disappointing sales outlook for the year.