Financials Lead Broad Retreat in the Markets

U.S. stocks are tumbling today after last Friday’s worse-than-expected jobs report. And financials are at the forefront of the retreat.

The six biggest U.S. banks by market capitalization were down an average of 2.45% in mid-Monday trading. Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) and Citigroup (NYSE: C) led the charge, each having fallen just over 3.3%.

The slump in the financial sector is pulling the market as a whole down with it. The S&P 500 had fallen 1.3% as of noon eastern time today. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq had dropped 1.15%.

Of the sectors that comprise the S&P 500, financials have tumbled the most today. As our own Jason Cimpl has been preaching for months, financials are the current market leaders; wherever they go, the market follows. That appears to be the case again today.

Stocks – and financials in particular – are taking a hit today because of last Friday’s underwhelming jobs report. March nonfarm payrolls grew by 120,000 jobs, ending a streak of three straight months in which payrolls increased by at least 200,000 jobs.

Since Friday was a market holiday, the effect of the disappointing jobs report is being felt doubly on Wall Street today.

The unemployment rate did shed another tenth of a percent, falling from 8.3% to 8.2%. But it hasn’t been enough to offset the significant slowing of the nonfarm payrolls growth.

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