Stocks Plunged after a Dismal Jobs Report, Ended Week Mixed

U.S. stocks sank Friday, as a report showing the economy added no new jobs in August prompted investors to question what steps the U.S. Federal Reserve will take to bolster the economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the daily session down 253.31 points, or 2.20%, at 11,240.26. The S&P 500 Index fell 30.45 points, or 2.53%, to 1,173.97, and the Nasdaq Composite Index lost 65.71 points, or 2.58%, to 2,480.33. The weekly results for the indexes were mixed, with the Dow industrials off 0.4% and the S&P 500 Index down 0.2%. The Nasdaq Composite, meanwhile, clung to a minor weekly gain of 0.02%.

Employers stopped adding jobs in August, an alarming setback for an economy that has struggled to grow and might be at risk of another recession. The government also reported that the unemployment rate remained at 9.1 percent. It was the weakest jobs report since September 2010.

President Barack Obama on Friday scrapped his administration’s controversial plans to tighten smog rules, bowing to the demands of congressional Republicans and some business leaders.

Duke Energy (DUK) ‘s proposed merger with Progress Energy got the blessing of a key constituent Friday, raising hopes that the merger will be approved by regulators.

Oil prices fell Friday along with the prospects for global economic growth as the government reported the economy added no jobs last month. Benchmark crude fell $2.48, or 2.8 percent, to finish at $86.45.

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