U.S. equity markets tumbled Friday after a dismal March jobs report showing the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. economy harder than expected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 400 points, or 1.85 percent, in morning trading as unemployment surged to a level near the worst of the Trump era. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.67 percent and 1.53 percent, respectively.
The U.S. economy lost 701,000 jobs in March, snapping a decade-long record of employment growth, as strict measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic shuttered businesses and forced Americans to stay at home. It was the first decline in payrolls since September 2010, and the steepest since March 2009, in the midst of the Great Recession.