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.
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