NEW YORK -- Investors abandoned stocks Friday after the U.S. government reported that only 80,000 jobs were created in June, the third straight month of weak hiring.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 124.20 points to close at 12,772.47. The loss wiped out the Dow's gain for the week.
Of the 30 stocks in the Dow average, only five rose, including McDonald's and AT&T. The world's largest producer of aluminum, Alcoa, and Caterpillar, the construction equipment maker, were among the hardest-hit Dow stocks with declines of about 3 percent each. Materials and industrial companies are the most likely to suffer if the economy weakens.
The anemic jobs report led investors to shift money into low-risk assets. The price of the 10-year Treasury note rose, sending its yield down to 1.55 percent from 1.60 percent late Thursday. The dollar rose against the euro.
The sluggish growth in American jobs comes at a time when the global economy is also losing pace. Central banks in Europe and China took action Thursday to prop up their sliding economies.
The new signs of economic sluggishness around the world sent commodities prices lower. Crude oil dropped $2.77, or 3 percent, to $84.45 a barrel. The U.S. is the world's biggest oil consumer, and the prospect of lower demand pushed down prices.
Energy stocks followed the price of oil lower. Peabody Energy fell $1.27, or close to 5 percent, to $24.86, while Alpha Natural Resources declined 60 cents, or 6.5 percent, to $8.67.
In other trading on Wall Street, the Standard & Poor's 500 slid 12.90 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,354.68 and the Nasdaq composite fell 38.79 points, or 1.3 percent, to 2,937.33.