NEW YORK — Stocks were solidly lower in late-morning trading Friday after a report showed that U.S. job creation slowed last month.
Investors sold energy and consumer discretionary stocks as oil prices declined and investors continued to worry that the risk of the U.S. economy slipping into recession, while low, is growing.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average lost 191 points, or 1.2 percent, to 16,221 as of 11:10 a.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 27 points, or 1.4 percent, to 1,888 and the Nasdaq composite lost 107 points, or 2.4 percent, to 4,401.81.
JANUARY JOBS: U.S. employers added 151,000 jobs in last month, a sharp deceleration from recent months as companies shed education, transportation and temporary workers. That was below economists' forecasts of a creation of 185,000 jobs, according to data from Factset.
On the positive side, 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.
DOLLAR STRENGTH: The jobs report, while less than what economists were looking for, still showed the U.S. economy is growing, albeit slowly. The report caused the dollar to strengthen against other currencies, reversing some of the last two days of declines. Investors had been betting a slowing U.S. economy might cause the Federal Reserve to stall their plans to raise interest rates.
"This report was a 'mixed bag' and doesn't really give investors any clear direction," said Chris Gaffney, president of EverBank World Markets, in an email. "Market sentiment continues to have a bearish bias as investors question the strength of the U.S. recovery."
ENERGY: U.S. crude rose 13 cents to $31.84 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international benchmark, added 18 cents to $34.64 a barrel in London.
UNFRIENDED: LinkedIn plunged $76.70, or 40 percent, to $115.43 after the professional networking service provided a weak forecast for 2016.
DELICIOUS: Food processor Tyson Foods rose $5.74, or 11 percent, to $57.65 after the company raised its full-year forecast.
BONDS AND CURRENCIES: U.S. government bond prices fell. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.88 percent from 1.84 percent the day before. The dollar rose to 117.25 yen from 116.71 yen. The euro fell to $1.1112 from $1.1214, which was its highest level in more than three months.