Futures markets signal a steep sell-off Monday as the Labor Department says employers added 120,000 nonfarm jobs in March, less than expected. Unemployment falls to 8.2%, as fewer people seek work. The stock market was closed for Good Friday.
Investors want to see if Friday's unemployment numbers show a growing economy -- or not. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters' results cheer the Street. Jobless claims drop. Macy's boosts 2012 guidance. Zynga shares jump on Facebook excitement.
Gold falls below $1,600 an ounce as fears build that Europe's problems are getting worse. The Dow falls 131 points. Stocks of companies with big non-US sales are hit hard. Michael Kors IPO prices at $20; Zynga on deck.
The blue chips end up 23 points as a great October continues. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq rise for a fourth week. Gold and crude oil drift lower. Higher prices boost Chevron profits. Weak sales force Whirlpool to lay off 5,000. Merck earnings rise.
Consumer confidence rises, while spending gains outpace a slight uptick in incomes. Whirlpool says it will cut 5,000 jobs. Merck, AMD and Chevron beat the Street. Hewlett-Packard will keep its PC business.
Stocks dive in the morning as unemployment rises to 9.2% and job growth sputters. But late-day buying trims losses. Banks lead the market lower. Oil and copper drop, while gold rises.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
Do it once a year. This allows the best-performing asset classes to take off and run.
The Market Dispatches column has been discontinued. Here's where to find the latest stock and business news on MSN Money, and the latest from market writer Charley Blaine.
MONEY & POLITICS
Breaking up big banks is an untested solution to the too big to fail problem that attempts to isolate and dismantle large, troubled institutions while protecting the rest of the economy.
Six weeks later, most Americans have forgotten about the 2014 tax season -- except those who didn't file by the April 15 deadline.
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'