Dow Plummets Under 13,000

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

The holiday weekend wasn't long enough to make the market forget about Friday's poor job numbers.

The market is sharply down on the first trading session since the government revealed that only 120,000 jobs were added last month, well below the 200,000 estimated and a mere half of February's 240,000. Did the warm winter pull seasonal hiring forward? Is this just a blip on the radar? Or will the recovery stall out again? No one knows the answers yet, but if we are falling back, let's hope the Federal reserve hasn't taken more stimulus off the table, as no help will come from Congress in an election year.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at how the major indexes are faring so far today and drill down on a few stocks caught up in today's bloodbath.

Index

Gain / Loss

Gain / Loss Percentage

Intraday Value

Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) (98.92)(0.76%)12,961.22
Nasdaq(26.35)(0.85%)3,054.15
S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC) (13.14)(0.89%)1,384.94

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Although fellow Fool Morgan Housel digs deep into the job report and finds -- shockingly enough -- that it's not as bad as the headlines suggest, the possibility of rough economic waters ahead has hit commodities and bank stocks like a ton of bricks.

Dow component Bank of America (NYS: BAC) declined 4% in early trading and the Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X (NYS: FAS) ultra-long ETF plunged nearly 6% before paring some of those losses. Unsurprisingly, bellwethers whose bottom lines depend on the economy regaining its momentum are also having a rough go of it, including heavy equipment maker Caterpillar (NYS: CAT) ; its shares are off almost 3%. Caterpillar's earnings report and conference call later this month will be of particular interest for investors looking for firsthand insight into the state of the global recovery.

Investors should remember that one jobs report does not ruin a recovery, although if next month's jobs data doesn't reassert the positive trend, the markets will get increasingly skittish. But even if the bears wrestle back control, it could present an attractive buying opportunity for the next run-up as our slow and steady rebound continues.

A better approach
Watching the broad market each day can be exciting, gut-wrenching, and stressful. If you're in the mood to pick up a great company to buy for the long term, though, The Motley Fool has created a brand-new free report: "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2012." It features a company hand-selected by the Fool's chief investment officer that has a strong future ahead of it. I invite you to take a copy, free for a limited time. Get access to the report and find out the name of this legendary company. The report is free, but it won't be forever, so check it out today.

At the time this article was published David Williamsonholds no position in any company mentioned.Click hereto see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days.

Copyright © 1995 - 2012 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read Full Story

Want more news like this?

Sign up for Finance Report by AOL and get everything from business news to personal finance tips delivered directly to your inbox daily!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners

This Elephant Was Separated From Her Mother As A Baby - But She's About To Get A Huge This Elephant Was Separated From Her Mother As A Baby - But She's About To Get A Huge
Man Built This Contraption In His Backyard - And Even He Was Surprised How Well It Worked Man Built This Contraption In His Backyard - And Even He Was Surprised How Well It Worked
19 of the Creepiest, Most Inexplicable Things People Ever Experienced 19 of the Creepiest, Most Inexplicable Things People Ever Experienced