Employment Fears Weigh On Stocks

Stocks are falling this morning as investors brace for a potentially bad jobs report.

S&P 500 futures are down about 0.5 percent, while European indexes are tumbling almost 2 percent. Most Asian bourses were lower overnight as well, with the exception of Japan’s Nikkei.

The Labor Department will announce non-farm payrolls for March at 8:30 a.m. ET.  Economists forecast that 192,000 jobs were added last month, but most other employment gauges this week have missed expectations. That threatens to derail a positive economic-growth story that emerged late last year and helped propel stocks to long-term highs in recent weeks.

There have been warning signs of late, however, as defensive sectors such as health care and consumer staples took leadership from financials and energy. Transport stocks, small caps, European indexes, and Treasury yields have also been falling since mid-March, failing to confirm the highs in the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

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