This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Stocks Extend Losing Streak on Poor Jobs Data


NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Stocks fell for the fourth day in a row Monday as disappointing news on job creation in March gave investors pause ahead of first-quarter reporting season.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 131 points, or 1%, to close at 12,930, its first finish below 13,000 since March 12. The blue-chip index caught a slight bounce off its intraday low of 12,904 and is still up 5.8% in 2012.

The biggest laggards within the Dow were Bank of America (BAC), Caterpillar (CAT), and Walt Disney (DIS).

Only two of the Dow's 30 components -- McDonald's (MCD) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) -- finished in the green.

The S&P 500 shed 16 points, or 1.1%, to finish at 1382. The financials, materials and transportation sectors led the declines. The index has gained 9.9% year-to-date.

The Nasdaq tumbled 33 points, or 1.1%, to settle at 3047. It ran as low as 3032 on Monday and remains 18% higher on the year.

On Friday, while Wall Street was closed for the Good Friday holiday, the federal government said nonfarm payrolls increased 120,000 in March, far short of the 200,000 gain that economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters were expecting. The unemployment rate fell to 8.2% from 8.3% for the month. The market expected the rate to remain unchanged at 8.3%.

The average workweek for private-sector employees slipped by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours in March. Average hourly earnings rose by 5 cents, or 0.2%, to $23.39. Private-sector payrolls increased by 121,000, while government employment was virtually unchanged.

The VIX, known as Wall Street's fear gauge, popped nearly 12% on the renewed economic fears to settle 18.67. The VIX measures implied volatility through options pricing for the S&P 500. A reading above 20 is seen as the point where fear is on the rise.

Despite the selling pressure on stocks, Michael Gayed, chief investment strategist at Pension Partners, was impressed the decline wasn't deeper.

"The jobs data is just for one month, so maybe the bears will say that they'll give it the benefit of the doubt and that this isn't the start of a trend toward weak job growth," he said. However, "if we see the 10-year yield break 2%, that could get people's attention. It could lead to a panic scenario."

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,912.11 -70.48 -0.42%
S&P 500 1,969.95 -8.96 -0.45%
NASDAQ 4,442.6980 -2.2110 -0.05%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs