Major equity indexes in the U.S. started the last day of the week with sharp losses pressured by the disappointing nonfarm payrolls data and escalating fears over a global economic slowdown. As of writing, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.6% on the day, the S&P 500 was losing 0.7% and the Nasdaq Composite was erasing 0.82%.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics today reported that the nonfarm payrolls increased by 20,000 in February and missed the analysts’ estimate of 180,000 by a wide margin. Despite the uninspiring NFP reading, however, the unemployment rate fell to 3.8% from 4%. Earlier in the day, the data from China revealed the negative impact of trade tariffs with exports contracting more than 20% on a yearly basis in February and revived concerns over the global economic slowdown.
Among the 11 major S&P 500 sectors, energy is losing 2.75% to lead the losses while technology and industrials are both erasing nearly 1%. The only sector that’s in the negative territory in the early trade is real estate.