New York, June 2 (IANS) US stocks plunged Friday after a highly-anticipated report showed the recovery in the jobs market was sharply slowing down.
According to the Labor Department, the US economy added only 69,000 new jobs in May, the smallest gain in a year, while economists were expecting a much stronger increase.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate climbed to 8.2 percent from April's 8.1 percent, which was the first increase since June 2011, Xinhua reported.
Adding to the fears in the market, manufacturing data from both Europe and China offered a bleak view for the global economy.
Manufacturing activity in Germany, France and Spain fell to the lowest levels since mid-2009, while China's manufacturing activity also fell more than expected in May due to a reduction in new orders.
Concerns over Europe's debt woes continued to weigh on the market. The International Monetary Fund denied rumors that Spain has requested assistance, saying there is no plan to offer direct assistance to the struggling nation.
In midday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 158.18 points, or 1.28 percent, to 12,235.27. The Standard & Poor's 500 was down 22.60 points, or 1.72 percent, to 1,287.73. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 57.57 points, or 2.04 percent, to 2,769.77.