US futures drop as jobs report comes up short

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock market futures are plunging after the Labor Department showed that the economy added just 88,000 jobs in March, the lowest gain in nine months.

Dow Jones industrial average futures are down 130 points to 14,402. Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 28.50 points to 2,757. S&P 500 futures slid 17 to 1,537.

Economists expected growth of about 195,000 jobs. The unemployment rate dropped to 7.6 percent, but only because more people stopped looking for work.

The report weighed on world markets as well. Britain’s FTSE 100, Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC all slid nearly 2 percent.

Earlier Japan’s Nikkei hit a four-year high, boosted by enthusiasm for that nation’s new central bank policies. But worries about bird flu in China and saber-rattling in North Korea weighed on other Asian markets.

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