U.S. stocks closed lower Friday as investors assessed the economic damage wrought by the coronavirus epidemic, after the Labor Department reported the U.S. economy lost more than 700,000 jobs in March, and that the unemployment rate rose to a near three-year high of 4.4%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 358 points, or 1.5% to close near 21,055, the S&P 500 index fell 38 points, or 1.8% to close at roughly 2,489 and the Nasdaq Composite retreated 114 points, or 1.5% to finish at about 7,373.
Analysts said the March report understated weakness in the labor market as the underlying surveys of businesses and households was taken in the second week of March, before many restrictions to battle the spread of COVID-19 were in place.
Elsewhere, oil prices continued to rise as optimism grew that deal to lower global production would soon be agreed upon. The gains helped to blunt Friday losses to the energy sector, which gained 5.3% this week and was the best performing S&P 500 sector.
Source : MarketWatch