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The markets ended the first week of May in the red amid renewed worries that the U.S. economy is faltering.

The S&P 500 fell 0.4% from the last week in April, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.19%, and the Nasdaq fell 0.8%.

The latest jobs data from the U.S. government, released Friday, exacerbated concerns about a sluggish recovery. Not only was the number of positions added to nonfarm payrolls in April less than economists projected, February and March's initial numbers were reduced.

"While we've had a strong post-recession labor market recovery, recent economic data has been lackluster and [Friday's] job report makes investors question whether the job market is finally turning lower," said Bill Merz, investment strategist at the Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank. 

On the upside, weakness increased the chances that the Federal Reserve will delay a rate hike until later in the year. The central bank's monetary policy committee had consistently cited labor market strength as a positive indicator, even amid reservations about the broader economy. The committee, which once projected as many as four rate hikes this year, has trimmed its outlook to two.

"The headline number was definitely disappointing, and all but erases any chance of a rate hike in June," said Chris Gaffney, president of World Markets at EverBank. "Without any real wage pressure and the uncertainty of a presidential election in the fall, I think the Federal Open Market Committee will be forced to sit on their hands until the end of the year. This confirms we will have lower rates for longer -- more of the same."

Jobless claims data on Thursday also confirmed a slowing trend in the labor market. The number of new requests for unemployment benefits in the final week of April came in at a five-week high, though it remained near its lowest level since 2000.

Worries over the health of the global economy also spooked markets throughout the week. An unofficial gauge on factory activity in China fell further into contraction in April, cementing concerns about the health of the world's second-largest economy. Chinese factory activity shrank for its 14th straight month.

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The European Commission lowered its fiscal 2016 forecasts, blaming weakness in global expansion and uncertainty about whether the U.K. will remain in the European Union.

The Reserve Bank of Australia joined central banks worldwide in easing monetary policy, cutting rates for the first time in a year. The island nation's economy is facing record-low inflation and a stronger U.S. dollar that has curbed international demand for its oil, basic materials and other products.

Earnings from tech companies came in far better than a week earlier, when Apple (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report and Twitter (TWTR) - Get Twitter, Inc. Report both reported a disappointing quarter. This week, Yelp (YELP) - Get Yelp Inc Report , GoPro (GPRO) - Get GoPro, Inc. Class A Report , Tesla (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report and Alibaba (BABA) - Get Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Report reported generally positive earnings trends

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Consumer earnings were a mixed bag. On the plus side, Weight Watchers (WTW) - Get Weight Watchers International, Inc. Report enjoyed a boost in members, its first in four years, while CVS Health (CVS) - Get CVS Health Corporation Report reported a double-digit sales increase, thanks to two acquisitions in the past year. 

Priceline (PCLN) disappointed after providing softer-than-expected guidance for its second quarter, while Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) - Get Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV Report suffered from quarterly weakness as sales in Brazil declined 10%.

In the media industry, Time Warner (TWX) reported impressive results driven by growth at Turner Broadcasting and HBO, and DreamWorks (DWA)  swung to a surprise profit. 

CBS (CBS) - Get CBS Corporation Class B Report  reported a 20% increase in first-quarter earnings, thanks to ad sales during the Super Bowl broadcast in February.