- U.S. stocks opened lower on Monday, as markets were jittery after the release of disappointing U.S. employment data on Friday, while markets eyed first-quarter earnings season, set to begin after the close on Tuesday.

During early U.S. trade, the Dow 30 eased 0.09%, the S&P 500 slid 0.39%, while the Nasdaq retreated 0.55%.

On Friday, data showed that the U.S. economy added 192,000 jobs in March, below expectations for jobs growth of 200,000. The U.S. unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.7%, compared to expectations for a downtick to 6.6%.

Although the data disappointed market expectations, it still seemed to indicate that the Federal Reserve will maintain the current pace of reductions to its asset purchase program.

Among tech stocks, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) slid 0.38% after saying in a report on Friday that it feared iPhone sales have declined due to growing competition from Android devices that have either larger screens or lower prices.

Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (NYSE:POT) added to losses, down 0.49%, after Chief Executive Officer Bill Doyle is about to step down after almost 15 years heading the company. Doyle had recently fended off BHP Billiton''s hostile takeover bid for the Canadian fertilizer producer only to later lose a price war with a Russian rival.

On the upside, BlackRock Inc. (NYSE:BLK) gained 0.28% after the investment management corporation said it is expanding top leadership in a reorganization that will result in new roles for at least 10 senior executives.

Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) shares rallied 1.82% after Oppenheimer upgraded the provider of online TV and film subscriptions to "outperform" from "perform".

Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were lower. The DJ Euro Stoxx 50 declined 0.74%, France’s CAC 40 slid 0.74%, Germany''s DAX plummeted 1.77%, while Britain''s FTSE 100 tumbled 0.93%.

During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong''s Hang Seng dropped 0.59%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 plummeted 1.69%.

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