* S&P 500 on track for biggest weekly decline of 2013
* Energy shares likely to drop, oil slumps 1 percent
* F5 Networks plunges after weak outlook, weighs on peers
* Indexes down: Dow 1 pct, S&P 1.1 pct, Nasdaq 1.5 pct
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, April 5 U.S. stocks dropped more than
1 percent on Friday in the wake of payrolls data that was much
weaker than expected, the latest in a series of reports to
indicate economic growth may be losing momentum.
About 88,000 jobs were added in March, less than half the
forecast of 200,000, though the unemployment rate dipped to 7.6
percent from 7.7 percent. The report follows similarly
disappointing reads on the manufacturing and services sector, as
well as other poor labor market data.
The data "adds concerns about fundamentals to concerns we
had about prices having gotten ahead of themselves, which
creates the potential for even further declines," said Bruce
McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank in
The benchmark S&P has shed 1.8 percent this week, by far its
worst weekly decline of 2013.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 140.64
points, or 0.96 percent, at 14,465.47. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was down 17.41 points, or 1.12 percent, at
1,542.57. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 47.49
points, or 1.47 percent, at 3,177.49.
Losses were broad, with more than 80 percent of stocks on
the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq trading in negative
F5 Networks Inc was the S&P's biggest percentage
loser, dropping 17 percent to $74.65, a day after forecasting
second-quarter earnings and revenue that were well below
Several of F5's peers were also sharply lower, with Juniper
Networks off 6.3 percent at $19.96 and Citrix Systems
down 3.7 percent at $67.11.
Only four S&P 500 components rose more than 1 percent, with
Newmont Mining adding 2.3 percent to $40.03, alongside a
rise in gold prices.
Retailers weakened, with the SPDR S&P Retail
exchange-traded fund down 1.4 percent at $69.19.
If the S&P closes down on the week, it will be only the
third weekly loss this year for the index, which has struggled
to surpass an intraday record high of 1,576.09. The index has
gained about 8.2 percent this year without a significant
pullback, leading many analysts to call for one.
Equity market gains have been partially fueled by a
bond-buying program by the Federal Reserve. Measures from
central banks around the world have also helped, and on
Thursday, Wall Street rose after the Bank of Japan announced
aggressive policies to jump-start its economy.
Friday's payroll report "should reinforce the Fed's recent
bond buying activity; but that may not be enough to turn today's
bearish feelings in the markets," said Todd Schoenberger,
managing partner at LandColt Capital in New York.
Energy shares were pressured, as the group is closely tied
to economic growth expectations. Crude oil fell for a third
straight day, dropping 0.6 percent and extending its decline for
the week to more than 5 percent. Chevron Corp fell 0.8
percent to $117.09.
Overseas, European shares slumped 1.7 percent,
falling to a one-month low on concerns over growth.
Earnings forecasts have been scaled back heading into
first-quarter reports, due to be kicked off next week by Alcoa
. S&P 500 earnings are expected to have risen just 1.6
percent from a year ago, according to Thomson Reuters data, down
from 4.3 percent forecast in January.
Geopolitical tensions will remain in focus after North Korea
placed two of its intermediate range missiles on mobile
launchers and hid them on the east coast of the country, South
Korean media reported on Friday.