(Wall Street Journal)
U.S. stock market futures traded sharply lower on Monday, as Wall Street gets its first chance to react to weaker-than-expected nonfarm-payrolls data late last week.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 114 points, or nearly 1%, to 12864, while those for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 13.9 points, or 1%, to 1376.30.
Futures for the Nasdaq-100 index slid 28 points, or 1%, to 2725.75.
Equity markets were closed for the Good Friday holiday, but stock futures and the dollar fell sharply after the Labor Department said just 120,000 jobs were created in March.
That marked the first time since November that job growth was below the 200,000 level, and the report disappointed economists expecting a jobs increase of 210,000.
The data raised some questions about the strength of the U.S. economic recovery.
“Nonfarm payrolls surprised even the most pessimistic forecaster at a time when bullish expectations were recovering,” said analysts at Société Générale in a Sunday note.
However, they added: “If we take three steps back, a jobs report with 1% increase in payrolls, hardly any revisions, a small dip in the unemployment rate, changes very little. The Fed is on hold; the carrot of [a third round of quantitative easing] still dangles.”