Retailers took a one-two punch Friday as consumer spending and jobs numbers painted a bleak economic picture of the American shopper.
U.S. employers created only 69,000 jobs in May, the Labor Department reported early in the day, the fewest in a year. And the unemployment rate has ticked up, furthering fears that the economy has run out of gas.
Economists follow consumer behavior closely because it drives about 70 of the economy.
A separate report showed that consumer spending edged up modestly in April but personal income growth was the slowest in five months. That throws into doubt the level of future spending by Americans, and it could create headwinds for retailers.
Consumer spending increased 0.3 percent in April, following a revised 0.2 percent gain in March, according to the Commerce Department. Americans' income grew 0.2 percent in April, the poorest showing since incomes fell 0.1 percent in November.
The news sent the broader market down sharply Friday. Here's a look at how the stock of several major retailers fared by midday on the news:
Target Corp.: Down 75 cents to $57.16
J.C. Penney Co.: Down 54 cents to $25.69
Wal-Mart Stores Inc.: Down 24 cents to $65.58
Kohl's Corp.: Down $1.13 to $44.69.