Stocks Slide as Technology Sector Suffers

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Published April 04, 2014

| FOXBusiness

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The Nasdaq plunged nearly 3% in what could be the technology-heavy index's worst day since 2012. Meanwhile, broader barometers tumbled close to 1%.

Today's Markets

As of 3:25 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 137 points, or 0.83%, to 16435, the S&P 500 declined 20.4 points, or 1.1%, to 1868 and the Nasdaq Composite dipped 101 points, or 2.4%, to 4136.

The technology sector was by far the worst performer on Friday, with a handful of big stocks like Google (GOOG) stumbling. Many other online stocks like Yelp (YELP) and Pandora (P) also fell sharply. 

The economic sentiment on Wall Street is slowly shifting. Over the first two months of the year, the conversation revolved around harsh winter weather driving down jobs growth, construction, manufacturing and a slew of other sectors. However, economists are hoping the economy started warming up in March as the weather improved. 

The Labor Department said the U.S. economy added 192,000 jobs in March, below the 200,000 jobs Wall Street anticipated. Job growth in the previous two months was also revised higher. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.7% from the month prior, analysts expected it to fall to 6.6%. The labor force participation rate, which gauges the proportion of the working-age population employed or seeking employment, rose to 63.2%, from 63% in February.

"The US economy continues to create jobs at a good but not great pace that we should be seeing this far into the recovery," Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group, wrote in an e-mail to clients. 

"It is good enough however for the Fed to continue its taper, especially again at month end, but not good enough we believe to get the 3%+ GDP growth rate that we all hope for."

Echoing that sentiment, Douglas Coté, chief market strategist at ING wrote in an e-mail that "this report is consistent with a slowly improving U.S. economy."

Elsewhere, food-delivery service GrubHub debuted on the New York Stock Exchange, with its shares soaring to $40 from its IPO price of $26. 

In commodities, U.S. crude oil futures climbed $1.01, or 1%, to $101.31 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline rose 0.72% to $2.934 a gallon. Gold increased $14.30, or 1.1%, to $1,299 a troy ounce. 

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