NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Wall Street sold off Friday after investors learned that the U.S. added only 115,000 jobs last month, which stoked concern about the sluggish economy.

Investors also dialed back risk on signs of weak business activity in Europe and ahead of French and Greek elections this weekend.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 168 points, or 1.3%, to 13,038. The S&P 500 finished down 22.5 points, or 1.6%, at 1,369, and the Nasdaq closed down 68 points, or 2.3%, to 2,956.

The Dow lost 1.3% for the week, while the S&P 500 shed 2.2% and the Nasdaq finished down 3.1%.

The decline was widespread as all 30 Dow components closed in negative territory. The biggest percentage losers were Bank of America ( BAC), JPMorgan Chase ( JPM), Cisco Systems ( CSCO) and Microsoft ( MSFT).

JPMorgan slid 3% after CLSA analyst Mike Mayo cut the bank's shares to "underperform" from "outperform" today.

In the broader market, losers outpaced winners by 3 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange and 4 to 1 on the Nasdaq.

The VIX, the so-called fear gauge, jumped 7.9% on worries economic growth is faltering. 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.

The U.S. economy created 115,000 jobs last month, falling short of economists' estimates for 170,000, according to Thomson Reuters. Still, March's figure was revised up to 154,000. The average workweek for employees was unchanged at 34.5 hours in April.

The unemployment rate fell slightly to 8.1% from 8.2 %, though largely due to more people giving up their search for work. Economists had expected the rate to remain unchanged.

Michael Strauss, chief investment strategist at Commonfund, says the labor market may return to job growth of about 170,000 over the latter part of the spring or early summer, especially with a pickup in hiring in the industrial and housing sectors.

To hold the unemployment rate steady these days, the economy likely only needs jobs growth of 75,000 jobs a month given that baby boomers "are starting to leave the system," he said.

In Europe, London's FTSE shed 1.9% and the Dax in Germany closed lower by 2%.

Nervousness is growing going into France's presidential election and Greece's parliamentary election on Sunday, with concerns that the outcomes could add to eurozone risk.

In France, the poll numbers were showing that French President Nicolas Sarkozy was closing the gap on socialist candidate Francois Hollande ahead of the presidential elections Sunday, but that Hollande could still end up winning the race.

Worries are that a Hollande victory could stir up uncertainty about the future of the "fiscal compact" signed by eurozone leaders last year and the focus on austerity to fight the debt crisis on the continent.

Ahead of the Sunday events, data was showing a steep decline in European business activity.

The reading for the Markit Eurozone Composite Purchasing Managers Index has come in at 46.7 for April, down from 49.1 in March. It was the fastest rate of decline since last October and one of the steepest contractions since mid-2009. The headline index also came in well below its earlier flash estimate of 47.4.

In commodity markets, the June crude oil contract was off $4.00 to trade at $98.54 a barrel. June gold futures were up $8.10 to $1,642.90 an ounce.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was up by 16/32, diluting the yield to 1.9%. The dollar was adding 0.3%, according to the dollar index.

In corporate news, Duke Energy ( DUK) reported first-quarter earnings of $295 million, or 22 cents a share, down from year-earlier earnings of $511 million, or 38 cents. Adjusted earnings for the latest quarter were 38 cents a share. Analysts expected a profit of 36 cents a share on revenue of $3.62 billion. Shares finished up 0.8%.

Chesapeake Energy ( CHK) and its CEO Aubrey McClendon noted Thursday that it's under an informal query by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

"The SEC noted in its request, which was received yesterday, that its inquiry should not be construed as an indication that any violation of the federal securities laws has occurred," Chesapeake Energy said in a statement Thursday. "The company and Mr. McClendon intend to cooperate with the SEC in responding to its inquiry."

Shares rose 1.1%.

Estee Lauder ( EL) reported Friday third-quarter earnings of $130.4 million, or 33 cents a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $124.7 million, or 31. Analysts anticipated the company earning 33 cents a share in the period. Shares lost 5.4%.

LinkedIn ( LNKD), the business social networking company , topped Wall Street's expectations for its first quarter. Shares popped 7.2%.

The company also gave a bullish forecast for the current quarter and said it has agreed to acquire privately held SlideShare, a service that allows professionals to share presentations, for $118.75 million in cash and stock.

American International Group ( AIG) reported after-tax operating income of $3.1 billion, or $1.65 a share, as sales of once-toxic subprime assets and a rebound of its property-casualty unit lifted profitability.

Analysts were looking for AIG to earn $1.12 a share compared with $1.30 a share a year earlier. The stock closed down 3.8%.

So far, 81% of S&P 500 companies have reported first-quarter earnings. Of those companies, 67% came in above earnings consensus estimates, 9% matched, and 23% missed Wall Street targets, according to Thomson Reuters.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.

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