The first full week of Wall Street in 2009 is Colorless,no huge shocks or happiness.
The report that the unemployment rate jumped to a 16-year high of 7.2 percent — more than the 7 percent economists predicted — from 6.8 percent in November, sent stocks sharply lower Friday as investors feared that Americans won't soon deviate from their tightened budgets. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 143 points to end the week down nearly 5 percent, its worst week since November.
Lost jobs were not a shock to Wall Street, but the news still stung.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 143.28, or 1.64 percent, to 8,599.18. The blue chips' 4.8 percent decline for the week was the biggest point and percentage loss since the week ended Nov. 21.
Broader stock indicators also lost ground. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 19.38, or 2.13 percent, to 890.35, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 45.42, or 2.81 percent, to 1,571.59.
For the week, the S&P 500 slid 4.5 percent and the Nasdaq lost 3.7 percent.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies dropped 20.71, or 4.13 percent, to 481.30.
Bond prices mostly rose Friday as investors sought safety from the grim economic data. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, fell to 2.40 percent from 2.44 percent late Thursday. The yield on the three-month T-bill, considered one of the safest short-term investments, slipped to 0.07 percent from 0.08 percent compared with late Thursday.
The dollar mostly rose against other major currencies, while gold prices fell.
Light, sweet crude fell 87 cents to settle at $40.83 on the New York Mercantile Exchange after dipping as low as $39.38.