April 9 - Wall Street trading remained tough mid-session as investors responded for the first time to less-than-stellar jobs figures released when markets were closed on Friday. Conway G. Gittens reports.
U.S. markets are playing catch up to the data and are on down in the dumps. Stocks are sharply lower in the early going as investors respond negatively to the March jobs report released on Friday when markets were closed. The U.S. economy added only 120,000 jobs last month, far less than economists were expecting. The unemployment rate surprisingly dipped to a three-year low of 8.2 percent. But that was because discouraged Americans stopped looking for work. A weaker-than-expected jobs report backs up the view of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who recently expressed concerns that the pick-up in the labor market was out of sync with the pace of overall economic growth. Some investors are scaling back expectations that a recovering U.S. economy will be strong enough to offset the negative impact Europe is having on the global economy. Conway Gittens, Reuters.