Stock market set to open sharply lower

Stock market futures point to lower open in its first session after Friday's disappointing jobs report. Next worry for stock market: quarterly earnings.

Richard Drew/AP/File
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in this file photo from last week. The stock market was headed to a sharply lower opening Monday with Dow Jones futures down more than 100 points.

Stocks appeared headed for a sharply lower open Monday in the first chance for Wall Street to react to a slowdown in hiring in the United States in March.

About an hour before the opening bell, Dow Jones industrial average futures were down 122 points at 12,856. Standard & Poor's 500 futures were off 15 points at 1,375. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 lost 30 points.

The U.S. added 120,000 jobs in March, about half the pace from December through February. That figure interrupted the strongest job growth since the Great Recession.

The government released its jobs report on Friday, but the stock market was closed in the United States.

Stocks had already pulled back after their strongest first quarter since 1998. The Dow closed as high as 13,264 last week, then lost more than 200 points in three days.

Even before the job number came out, investors were worried that the Federal Reserve does not appear inclined to take further steps to help the economy grow faster.

This week, investors will turn their attention to first-quarter corporate earnings reports. Alcoa reports tomorrow, the first company of the 30 that make up the Dow.

Analysts are expecting quarterly earnings to decline slightly compared with a year earlier. That would break a streak of nine quarters of earnings growth since 2009.

Asian stock markets fell Monday in their first trading after the U.S. jobs report. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index lost 1.5 percent, Seoul shed 1.6 percent, and Shanghai lost 0.9 percent. Markets were closed Monday in most of Europe.

Among stocks to watch Monday in the United States:

AOL Inc. has agreed to sell hundreds of patents and patent applications to Microsoft for a little more than $1 billion and return some of the cash to shareholders. The stock is up 33 percent in premarket trading.

Avon Products Inc., the struggling beauty products company, has named a former executive at Johnson & Johnson, Sherilyn S. McCoy, as its CEO. She starts April 23.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.