Good Friday turned into bad Friday after the disappointing news from the Labor Department that employers created just 120,000 jobs in March. Economists were expecting a number north of 200,000, and while the unemployment rate dipped to 8.2% from 8.3%, it was because workers gave up looking for work and dropped out of the workforce altogether.
Stock futures traded for a brief 45 minutes Friday on the news and their reaction was swiftly negative. The full reaction is being seem this morning, and it is looking just as bad, with Dow futures indicating a triple-digit loss at the open, and Nasdaq and S&P 500 futures lower by a full percent.
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The morning declines piggyback what was the worst week of the year on Wall Street. The Dow fell nearly 1.2% last week, the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.4% and the S&P 500 dropped 0.75%.
While the disappointing March jobs report is now behind us, first-quarter earnings season is not, and things unofficially kick off on Tuesday with aluminum giant Alcoa (NYSE:AA).
Analysts have been dramatically downgrading their expectations for corporate growth at the start of the new year -- Thomson Reuters now expects first-quarter earnings growth of 3.2%, while fourth-quarter growth was 9.2%.
The CEOs of General Motors (NYSE:GM), AIG (NYSE:AIG) and Ally Financial will not see a pay raise this year. The government says that's because the companies received huge taxpayer bailouts during the financial crisis and still haven't repaid them.
Don’t feel too bad, though, for the trio of CEOs; they're still taking home total compensation of between $9 million and $11 million each.