Stocks closed out the week with a big thud Friday, with the Nasdaq narrowly avoiding its worst one-day loss this year as momentum names got crushed for a second day. The Dow and S&P 500 finished far from their record highs hit earlier in the session.
"This is a spillover effect from the Nasdaq's momentum names into the broader market," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities. "We've seen momentum names weak over the week and that seems to have picked up steam today.”
For the second day, momentum stocks such as Tesla, Netflix, Amazon.com and Priceline fell heavily. Newly split Google Class A and Class C shares were both down more than 4 percent.
"The jobs report was more or less in line with expectations but the market had been up for four-consecutive days," noted Elliot Spar, market strategist at Stifel Nicolaus. "Those that were long (in) the big cap NDX names used the rally as a selling opportunity .... It got very ugly after yesterday's lows were pierced. Selling begets selling so money managers can protect their performance."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down more than 150 points after hitting a fresh high near the open. The blue-chip index briefly wiped out its losses for the year.
The S&P 500 also closed sharply lower and the Nasdaq tumbled as much as 2.8 percent. The Nasdaq is down more than 5 percent from its 14-year high of 4,371 reached on Mar. 6.
One bright spot: Investors sent shares of GrubHub Inc. up 30 percent Friday following an initial public offering that valued the online food ordering service at more than $2 billion. It closed at $34 a share, after reaching a high of $40.80.
The U.S. created 192,000 new jobs in March after a gain of 197,000 in February, according to the Labor Department. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent. Economists polled by Reuters had expected employment to increase 200,000 last month and the unemployment rate to dip to 6.6 percent.
First published April 4 2014, 6:40 AM