Stocks plunged right after the May jobs report showed that employers hired the fewest people in six years.
But with about 90 minutes left in the trading session, the major indexes had regained much of their losses. The Dow was down 30 points (0.17 percent) near 2:34 p.m. ET after losing as many as 139 points earlier.
The S&P 500 was down 5 points (0.28 percent) and the Nasdaq was down 28 points.
The Labor Department’s report showed that nonfarm payrolls grew by 38,000 jobs in May, while the unemployment rate fell to 4.7 percent as participation fell.
“There was no saving grace in this disappointing report, and the recent sluggishness in the labor market warrants increased Fed cautiousness,” wrote Bank of America Merrill Lynch economists in a note.
Traders and economists reduced bets that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates as soon as its meeing in June or even July.
In other data, both Markit and ISM’s services purchasing manager’s index for May missed forecasts, and showed that the sector expanded at a slower pace.
Stocks closed at the highest level since November on Thursday with the Dow closing up 48 points and the S&P 500 finishing at 2,105.3.
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