Stocks Plummet in Volatile Trade; Upbeat Payroll Data Overshadowed by Europe Debt Concerns

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Stocks are slipping for another session with all three major indexes firmly in red on continued worries over the economic recovery and Europe's debt crisis, despite stronger-than-expected non-farm payroll data released this morning. The losses come atop steep declines yesterday, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down more than 500 points - the biggest one-day decline since 2008 during the height of the financial crisis.

The U.S. economy, which has shown signs of weakness lately, added 117,000 jobs last month, better than the 75,000 to 90,000 jobs expected. Data show an even larger 154,000 new jobs in the private sector. The unemployment rate fell to 9.1% from 9.2%, partly because 193,000 people dropped out of the labor force, according to the latest government data, reported by MarketWatch.

Job gains in May and June were also revised up by a combined 56,000, the Labor Department reported. Average hourly wages rose 10 cents, or 0.4%, to $23.13. The workweek was unchanged at 34.3 hours.

In company news:

Shares of Apple ( AAPL ) are down after Comscore reported this morning that Apple was the lead gainer in mobile phone market share. Apple added a percentage point of market share, Barron's reported, for an 8.9% market share. Samsung led with 24.5% market share, followed by LG and Motorola with 20.9% and 15.8% respectively.

Shares of Bank of America ( BAC ) are down as amid reports that its legal bills could reach $2.3 billion to cover litigation and investigation costs on home foreclosure practices claims, citing a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Wells Fargo ( WFC ) shares are down after the bank said it would pay $590 million to settle claims related to investments sold by Wachovia Securities between 2006 and 2008. The settlement brings to an end claims in a class-action in U.S. District Court in New York. Investors allege Wachovia misrepresented facts while selling mortgage securities, The Wall Street Journal reports on the matter.

Shares of Exxon Mobil ( XOM ) are down after the company said in a statement that the development of the Indonesian Banyu Urip field in the Cepu block in East Java has achieved a "major milestone" with the award of the first of five engineering, procurement and construction contracts for work on major facilities at the development. Exxon Mobil is the operator of the Cepu block with a 45 percent interest. Full field development is planned to produce 165,000 barrels of oil per day, the company said in the statement.

In the latest earnings news:

--Shares of Proctor & Gamble ( PG ) are up after it beat estimates with its earnings figures. The company reported FQ4 EPS of $0.84, which beats by $0.02. Revenue increased 10.2% from the previous year period to $20.9 billion, topping estimates by $270 million.

--Weight Watchers (WTW) sinks by double digits after it reports Q2 revenue of $486 mln, better than the analyst consensus of $470 mln on Thomson Reuters. EPS was $1.17, a nickel higher than expectations.

--Shares of LinkedIn (LNKD) have pared gains from the pre-market session and are now down 2.1%, or $2.01, to $93.51. The company late Thursday reported Q2 non-GAAP EPS of $0.10 on sales of $121 million. The Street view is for a loss per share of 0.03 on sales of $104.73 million.

--Novavax says Q2 net loss was $0.04 per share on sales of $3 million. The Street view was for a loss per share of $0.07 on sales of $2.7 million.

Commodities are mixed. December gold contracts are up 0.06% to $1,660 an ounce, while September crude oil contacts are down 1.44% to $85.43 a barrel.

In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 1.59% to $33.19 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is up 0.15%, to $9.98.

In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 0.29% at $161.11. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is down 2.84% to $54.31. iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is down 1.22% to $37.15.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: AAPL , BAC , PG , WFC , XOM

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