Investors are disappointed by the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, indicating an employment increase of just 142,000 in September.
The number fell short of market watchers’ hopes for an employment increase of more than 200,000 during the month.
So far, in 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor said job growth has averaged 198,000 per month — a significant year-on-year deceleration from an average monthly gain of 260,000 in 2014.
Market watchers had also expected a decline in the jobless rate; however, unemployment remained unchanged at 5.1 percent, the report said.
As investors digested the report, at 11:13 a.m. EDT, the S&P 500 was down 9.62 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,914.20; the Dow Jones shed 90.80 points, or 0.56 percent, to 16,181.21; and the Nasdaq declined 12.49 points, or 0.27 percent, to 4,614.59.
A significant number of footwear stocks were also in the red at press time.
Nike Inc.’s share price dropped 0.67 percent to $123.00; Skechers USA Inc. decreased 0.86 percent to $131.57; Under Armour Inc. lost 0.89 percent to $97.96.
Caleres, Finish Line Inc. and Crocs Inc. managed to hold on to minor gains in midday trading. At press time, Caleres’ share price was up 0.36 percent; Finish Line increased 0.16 percent; and Crocs gained 0.72 percent.
In September, job growth occurred in the health-care and information sectors, while employment in mining continued to decline, the report said.
In recent months, economic uncertainty globally — particularly in China as well as in Europe — has created pressures for U.S. markets.
Last month, when the Federal Reserve decided to keep the benchmark rate near 0 percent, the move continued to suggest weakness in the U.S. economy.
“Recent global economic and financial developments may restrain economic activity somewhat and are likely to put further downward pressure on inflation in the near term,” the Fed had said in a statement on Sept. 17.