Wall Street finished a disheartening week sharply lower Friday after a government report showing the slowest job growth in nearly two years. Steadily climbing oil prices helped push the major indicators to losses for the week.
Investors were disappointed in the Labor Department's non-farm payroll report, which said only 78,000 jobs were created in May, down significantly from the 274,000 new jobs in April and far less than the 185,000 economists had forecast.
Some investors speculated that data this week might prompt the Federal Reserve to halt its policy of raising interest rates soon.
"The big takeaway here is that this increases the likelihood that the Fed will move to the sidelines sooner rather than later," said Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist at Spencer Clarke. "Otherwise, there are a lot of mixed signals on the economy right now, which makes it difficult to forecast."
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 92.52, or 0.9 percent, to 10,460.97.
Broader stock indicators also lost ground. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index was down 8.27, or 0.7 percent, at 1196.02, and the Nasdaq composite index lost 26.37, or 1.3 percent, to 2071.43.
The climb in oil prices and increasing economic uncertainty pressured stocks throughout the week, though the markets showed surprising resistance to profit-taking earlier in the week. For the holiday-shortened week, the Dow fell 0.77 percent, the S&P slid 0.23 percent and the Nasdaq dropped 0.21 percent.
L-3 Communications Holdings climbed $3.12, to $74.15, after the company announced it would purchase fellow technology contractor Titan for $1.97 billion in cash, or $23.10 per share, and assume $680 million in Titan debt. Titan fell 32 cents, to $22.47.
Constellation Brands, a U.S. spirits maker, rose 46 cents, to $28.03, as it is reportedly firming up a $14 billion counter-bid for British rival Allied Domecq, which has already had a takeover bid from French firm Pernod Ricard. Allied Domecq rose 27 cents, to $51.13, on the news.
Intel declined 26 cents, to $27.33, even though two brokerage houses lifted their quarterly revenue and profit forecasts for the Dow component, citing strong sales of notebook microprocessors and rising demand in Asia. Intel is scheduled to issue its mid-quarter update next week.
Apple Computer dropped $1.80, to $38.24, after it agreed to distribute $50 vouchers to as many as 2 million iPod owners -- which could cost up to $100 million -- to settle a class-action suit over the iPod's battery life. A Goldman Sachs analyst's report also noted higher iPod inventories, leading to questions about whether the must-have gadget has started to decline in sales.
New York Stock Exchange composite index fell 36.87, to 7169.21.
American Stock Exchange index rose 6.12, to 1502.80.
Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks fell 4.93, to 620.30.
NYSE: 1.29 billion shares, down from 1.41 billion on Thursday. Decliners outnumbered advancers 9 to 7.
Nasdaq: 1.65 billion shares, down from 1.78 billion. Decliners outnumbered advancers 7 to 4.
Crude oil for July delivery: $55.03, up $1.40.
Gold for current delivery: $423.70 a troy ounce, up from $422.70 on Thursday.