Toronto market in triple-digit decline, United States markets fall sharply

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 666 points on Friday - its worst showing in 20 months - and already suffering media stocks, with a few notable exceptions, were battered in the process.

The Labor Department said Friday 200,000 jobs were added to the economy in January and the jobless rate held steady 4.1 percent, the lowest rate in almost 20 years.

The rise in bond yields "is certainly beginning to concern the markets".

Yields on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note shot up to a four-year high within five minutes of release of the Labor Department's unemployment report for January.

Investors have grown increasingly anxious that a rapid rise in interest rates, spurred by higher inflation, could derail the market's strong and calm ride upward. It sets the stage to make credit cards, auto loans and mortgages more expensive. The Dow ended the day at 25,520.96 points, a 2.54 percent decrease from the close of markets Thursday.

Yet, as CNN pointed out, the Dow is still just 3.9 percent below its record high of 26,616.71, which was achieved just last week on January 26. "If we end up at 2,800 this year, it would be a good but not a great stock market for the year".

Other major indexes fell about 2 percent Friday.

Carl Tannenbaum, chief economist at Northern Trust, says Friday's employment report shows the economy continues to have a lot of energy.

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"It gives the Federal Reserve a "green light" on more rate hikes this year, and that historically makes the stock market nervous". Schlesinger called the fear that the economy is growing faster than expected the "real factor" that seemed to spook the market. "They're normal. Stock prices can't keep rising at these levels".

O'Hare said lacklustre earnings added to the selling momentum, with some of the biggest USA companies suffering dramatic declines after disappointing the market.

Google's parent company Alphabet slumped 4.6 percent Friday after reporting results that missed analysts' forecasts.

Apple declined 4.3 per cent after the technology company said it sold 77.3 million iPhones in the last quarter, below the 80 million analysts expected. Amazon shares gained $39.95 to $1,429.95.

Wholesale gasoline fell 2 cents to $1.87 a gallon and heating oil fell 4 cents to $2.05 a gallon. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, fell 91 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $68.74 per barrel in London. Germany's DAX slid 1.1 percent, while France's CAC 40 lost 1.1 percent.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.7 percent. The euro weakened to $1.2451 from $1.2502.

MSCI's all-country world index of equity performance in 47 countries fell 1.07 pe rcent while its gauge of emerging market stocks lost 1.54 per cent.

Gold posted the biggest weekly drop since early December.

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