U.S. stocks dropped and briefly hit session lows in late morning trading on Friday, with shares of energy companies falling as oil dropped more than $3 a barrel. An S&P index of energy stocks <.GSPE> lost 1.8 percent.

Earlier, data showed the unemployment rate declined in January but that employers unexpectedly cut jobs.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 65.37 points, or 0.65 percent, at 9,936.81. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 6.83 points, or 0.64 percent, at 1,056.28. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 5.06 points, or 0.24 percent, at 2,120.37.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by Jan Paschal)