U.S. stocks on Friday trimmed early losses but still ended the week lower, as disappointing U.S. non-farm payroll data weighed on the market.
The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average Index lost as many as 171 points before paring early loss. After the closing bell, the Dow shed 40.86 points, or 0.28 percent, to 14,565.25.
The broader Standard & Poor's 500-stock Index lost 6.70 points, or 0.43 percent, to 1,553.28. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index gave up 21.12 points, or 0.65 percent, to 3,203.86.
The market plummeted after the opening bell, with all the three stock indices dropping over one percent, hit by a closely watched jobs report.
Nonfarm payroll employment added 88, 000 in March, which was fewer than half of economists' estimates, according to U.S. Labor Department Friday. While the unemployment rate in March slightly improved to 7.6 percent from February's 7.7 percent, mainly due to lower labor force participation rate.
The worse-than-expected jobs report dented market sentiment. Data released during the week suggested that the U.S. labor market recovery was improving with fits and starts. The U.S. private sector employment growth moderated in March, Automatic Data Processing said Wednesday. And last week's jobless claims registered the sharpest weekly increase of the year, the Labor Department said Thursday.
However, Wall Street continued to show impressive resilience, with investors took the dip as a buying opportunity, which helped the main stock indices close well off their lows.
On the economic front, the U.S. international trade deficit in goods and services decreased to 43 billion U.S. dollars in February from the revised 44.5 billion dollars in January, as exports increased more than imports, the Commerce Department said Friday.
In corporate news, Chairman of Hewlett-Packard (HP) Raymond Lane has decided to step down amid ongoing anger from HP shareholders for his role in HP's costly acquisition of British software company Autonomy, HP said Thursday in a statement. HP shares slid 1.48 percent to 21.97 dollars.
Shares of Exide Technologies rose 14.60 percent to 1. 57 dollars after the battery maker said it had hired a financial advisory firm to review its financing alternatives to maximize its value for shareholders.
For the week, the S&P 500 dropped 1.01 percent, the biggest loss in 2013. The Dow and the Nasdaq fell 0.09 percent and 1.95 percent respectively in the same period.
Investors will shift their focus to earnings reports next week. Alcoa is scheduled to release its first-quarter earnings results on Monday, which would be the first earnings report from Dow components.
On other markets, the U.S. dollar traded mixed against major currencies on Friday. It continued rising versus the yen on Bank of Japan's aggressive easing measures but weakened against the euro after disappointing U.S. job data.
Bank of Japan promised to continue monetary easing until it achieves the 2 percent inflation goal, according to a statement released Thursday after the central bank's two-day monetary policy meeting. The central bank also said it would conduct money-market operations so that the monetary base will increase at an annual pace of about 645 billion dollars to 755 billion dollars.
In late New York trading, the euro jumped to 1.3012 dollars from 1.2937 dollars of the previous session and the British pound rose to 1.5338 dollars from 1.5237 dollars. The greenback bought 97.68 Japanese yen, higher than 96.13 in the previous session.
Meanwhile, oil prices fell for a third consecutive day. Light, sweet crude for May delivery fell 56 cents, or 0.6 percent, to settle at 92.7 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for May delivery dropped 2.19 dollars, or 2. 06 percent, to close at 104.15 dollars a barrel.