U.S. stocks turned negative as investors reassessed Friday's Bureau of Labor Statics (BLS) non-farm payroll (NFP) jobs report and digested a pair of Eurozone downgrades from Fitch Ratings.
The S&P 500 Index is down 10.77 points, or 0.92 percent, to trade at 1,154.20 at 1:30 p.m. ET. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 35.95 points, or 0.32 percent, to trade at 11,087.38. The Nasdaq Composite fell 1.18 percent.
Initially, stocks jumped on a bullish September NFP report from the BLS.
The report showed that the U.S. economy added 103,000 jobs in September, which beat August's revised gain of 57,000 and trumped analyst expectations of 60,000.
However, many analysts are still not ecstatic about the report.
Bottom line, 119k jobs per month have been created in 2011 on average, well below the 150-200k jobs that is needed to firmly lower the unemployment rate and eat into all the jobs lost in this recession, wrote Peter Boockvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak, in a research note.
Today's data provide a glimmer of hope in what was an otherwise dismal outlook... Everything is relative, however; labor market conditions are still a far cry from anything anyone would consider encouraging, wrote Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial, in a note.
The market is also discouraged by a pair of downgrades from Fitch Ratings. The ratings agency downgraded Spain and Italy, citing the intensification of the Euro zone crisis that constitutes a significant financial and economic shock.
Italy and Spain are the third and fourth largest economies, respectively, in the Eurozone. Should they suffer the same fate as Greece, investors fear core Europe may not have enough political will to bail them out.
Before the downgrades, news out of Europe has been mostly positive this week.
On Tuesday, the Financial Times reported that Eurozone officials are discussing ways to recapitalize European banks. On Thursday, the European Central Bank reintroduced covered bond purchases and year-long loans to European banks.