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Disappointing Jobs Report Sends Stocks Tumbling

Stocks tumbled Friday after the government said hiring remains weak and Hungary became the latest European country to report its economy is in crisis. The Dow Jones industrials were down 324 points Friday at 9,931.

The Labor Department says private employers added 41,000 jobs in May, down dramatically from 218,000 in April. The vast majority of those jobs were temporary government jobs.

"Analysts got ahead of themselves," NPR's Chris Arnold said. "They were predicting a very strong report and the stock market had risen on those hopes and they got it wrong."

But on a visit to a trucking company in Maryland Friday, President Obama tried to put a positive spin on the numbers.

"But even if you put those temporary jobs aside, there's no doubt that we saw another month of private sector job growth, and that is obviously critical, because when businesses are hiring again, people start spending again and that, in turn, gives businesses more and more incentive to grow," Obama said

NPR's Arnold said the jobs data weren't the only factor that caused stocks to slide: Ongoing fears about European banks, an economic crisis in Hungary and efforts to control the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico all contributed.

A Hungarian official described the economic situation as "grave."

The Standard & Poor's 500 index is down 38 at 1,065, while the Nasdaq composite index is down 84 at 2,219.

Only about 300 of the nearly 3,000 stocks that trade on the New York Stock Exchange rose. Volume came to 1.6 billion shares compared with 1.2 billion Thursday.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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