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Stocks solidly lower after U.S. jobs report

Traders Robert Arciero, left, and Michael Smyth watched

Traders Robert Arciero, left, and Michael Smyth watched the market make some gains on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016. Credit: AP / Richard Drew

Stocks posted steep losses Friday, ending the week with broad declines, as investors fretted over a report showing that U.S. job creation slowed last month.

Technology stocks fell especially hard, and shares of LinkedIn had their worst day in history.

Energy and consumer discretionary stocks fell as oil prices declined and investors continued to worry that the risk of the U.S. economy slipping into recession, while low, is growing.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 211.75 points, or 1.3 percent, to 16,204.83. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 35.43 points, or 1.9 percent, to 1,880.02 and the Nasdaq composite dropped 146.41 points, or 3.3 percent, to 4,363.14.

With Friday’s losses, the Dow was down 1.6 percent for the week, the S&P 500 fell 3.1 percent and Nasdaq lost 5.4 percent.

Investors were discouraged by a report that showed U.S. employers added 151,000 jobs last month, a sharp deceleration from recent months. That was below economists’ forecasts of 185,000 new jobs, according to data from FactSet.

The report included some positive signs, however. The unemployment rate fell to 4.9 percent from 5 percent, the lowest level since February 2008. Average wages jumped 2.5 percent over the past year to $25.39 an hour, evidence that the past years of job growth are helping to generate larger pay raises.

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