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Stocks open sharply lower as job growth stalls

In this Thursday, April 4, 2013, photo, Trader Anthony Riccio, left, and specialist Peter Giacchi work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Japan's benchmark stock index surged to its highest level in more than four years Friday April 5, 2013, its second straight day of big gains after the central bank announced aggressive action to lift the economy out of a prolonged slump. European stocks fell in early trading. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Dow Jones industrial average fell sharply in early trading after the U.S. government reported a sharp slowdown in hiring last month.

The Dow gave up 151 points shortly after the opening bell Friday, moving down 1 percent to 14,456. Other indexes were also lower.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index was down 19 points, or 1.2 percent, to 1,540 and the Nasdaq composite was down 51 points, or 1.6 percent, at 3,174.

The Labor Department reported that U.S. employers added just 88,000 jobs in March, the fewest in nine months. It's a slowdown after a period of strong hiring and the latest troubling sign for the economy.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.70 percent, its lowest of the year, as traders bought low-risk bonds.