Strong jobs figures send stock down

 

STOCKS dropped sharply in New York after Friday's unexpectedly strong employment figures removed the last shred of hope that short term interest rates might soon be cut.

But the major indexes took their hits early and held steady for the rest of the day, even as bond prices deteriorated in the afternoon.

Although the major indexes were broadly and significantly lower, some market analysts said an even more severe reaction was still possible especially as stock investors get a more definitive look at first quarter earnings.

"I think there's the potential for further downside," said Kathryn Lunstrum, investment strategist at Duff and Phelps Equity Research in Chicago.

The NYSE's composite index fell 6.27 to 345.65. The Standard and Poor's 500 stock index fell 11.62 to 644.24. The Nasdaq composite index fell 13.42 to 1,104.79. At the American Stock Exchange, the market value index fell 6.62 to 570.48.