US stocks sank on Monday, reacting for the first time to disappointing job market data following a three-day Easter holiday weekend.
In the first 45 minutes of trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dived 134.26 points (1.03 percent) to 12,925.88.
The broad-market S&P 500 shed 17.33 points (1.24 percent) to 1,380.75, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq tumbled 41.07 points (1.33 percent) to 3,039.43.
The sell-off "is understandable" after the government reported Friday the economy created a meager 120,000 jobs in March, well below analyst forecasts of 200,000, said Dick Green at Briefing.com.
"That was indeed a disappointment and while still a solid increase, reduces the underlying optimism towards the economic outlook that had been created by three straight prior months of in excess of 200,000," he said.
The unemployment rate unexpectedly edged lower, to 8.2 percent, due to a pick up in people dropping out of the work force.
US and major European markets were closed for the Good Friday holiday.
Many European bourses and some Asian markets, including Hong Kong, also were closed on Monday.
"With no major economic or earnings reports on the docket, there is little in the way to ease the bearish climate circling the Street," said Karee Venema at Schaeffer's Investment Research.
The hiring slump battered financial stocks. On the blue-chip Dow, Bank of America skidded 3.1 percent and JPMorgan Chase lost 2.4 percent.
Shares of AOL skyrocketed 43.7 percent to $26.47 after the struggling Internet pioneer announced it would sell more than 800 patents to Microsoft in a $1.06 billion deal. Microsoft fell 1.7 percent.
In other corporate news, telecom giant AT&T said it was selling its Yellow Pages unit called YP Holdings LLC to the equity firm Cerberus in a deal worth $950 million. AT&T shares plunged 3.0 percent.
US stocks finished mixed Thursday, with the Dow down 0.11 percent, the Nasdaq up 0.40 percent and S&P 500 flat.
Bond prices rose as yields fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury fell to 2.04 percent, down 0.13 point, while that on the 30-year Treasury dropped to 3.20, down 0.12 point.