US Equities Open on the Back Foot Easter Monday

U.S. stocks fell, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lower following the biggest weekly retreat of the year, after American employers added fewer jobs than forecast in March.

The S&P 500 (SPX) slumped 1.1 percent to 1,383.46 at 9:31 a.m. New York time following the benchmark index’s 0.7 percent weekly loss. U.S. stock exchanges were shut for Good Friday on April 6, when the employment report was released.

This is going to set off some additional weakness in the market and doesn’t set a great tone for earnings starting on Tuesday,” Walter Todd, who oversees about $950 million as chief investment officer at Greenwood Capital in Greenwood, South Carolina, said in an e-mail.

Equities slumped last week after the Federal Reserve signaled it will refrain from further monetary stimulus and concern about Europe intensified. The U.S. Labor Department said April 6 that employers added 120,000 jobs, the fewest in five months and less than the median economist forecast of 205,000 in a Bloomberg survey. The amount had exceeded 200,000 for three straight months.

‘Real Shock’

“This is a real shock,” Donald Selkin, the New York-based chief market strategist at National Securities Corp., which manages about $3 billion, said last week after the jobs report. “Everybody is so hung up on the 200,000 increase.”


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Dean Popplewell

Dean Popplewell

Vice-President of Market Analysis at MarketPulse
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