U.S. stock futures sank on Friday as investors reacted to dismal results on the most important employment report of the month.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 150 points, or 1 percent. The S&P 500 fell 1.1 percent and the Nasdaq dropped 1.5 percent.
The U.S. Labor Department released its monthly jobs report which noted that a mere 88,000 jobs were created in March after a revised 268,000 February increase, bringing the unemployment rate to 7.6 percent, far below The median forecast of 87 economists called for a 190,000 gain.
The labor force participation rate, which measures how many people are employed or looking for jobs, fell to 63.3 percent which is its lowest level since May 1979.expectations.
Investors instead rushed over towards the U.S. Treasuries. The 10-year yield dropped to 1.7 percent the lowest since December 2012. Gold, which is also perceived to be a traditional safe haven, gained ground too.
"This was an ugly report as the expected number was about 190,000," said Joe "JJ" Kinahan, chief derivatives strategist with TD Ameritrade. "The major area of concern is the loss of jobs in the Retail sector. When taken with the recent disappointment in ISM and housing numbers this may cause a reassessment of what we feel currently about the economy."
"That was a very bleak time in our economy and we are certainly not at that level but the fact that people are not participating in the workforce will quickly cause concern in the housing and retail markets," Kinahan added.
Other reports expected today is the consumer credit report set to be released by the Federal Reserve at 3 p.m. ET.