Updated from 2:29 p.m. ESTStocks staged a late-afternoon comeback, groping for positive territory as traders attempted to brush off the highest unemployment rate since 1983 and a crises of confidence in some of the who's who of government bailouts. Despite a 24% decrease in General Motors ( GM) shares, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was rising 40 points at 6635, and the S&P 500 added one point to 683. The Nasdaq, though, was falling 6 points still to 1293, with shares of Mac-maker Apple ( AAPL) off by 6% after a gloomy analyst outlook. In arguably the most-anticipated data of the week, the Labor Department said early Friday that non-farm payrolls continued to fall sharply, decreasing by 651,000, basically in line with expectations. Notably, the government also revised the figure for January, to 655,000 from the initial estimate of 589,000. The number of unemployed people rose by 5 million people over the last year to 12.5 million through February. The unemployment rate rose more than expected, to 8.1% in February from 7.6% in January. It's now at its highest rate since 1983. "A cycle of job losses is simply not a future that I will accept," said president Barack Obama on Thursday. The aforementioned General Motors continued to be the worst performer on the Dow a day after the struggling U.S. automaker said in a 10-K filing that auditors have raised "substantial doubt" about its ability to continue as a going concern. The government lent GM billions in aid with the condition that it prove financial viability. A Wall Street Journal report on Friday, however, said that top company executives are "more open to a speedy bankruptcy reorganization financed by the government."