Investors have gotten used to bad news, but layoffs topping 600,000 a month still made for a volatile day on Wall Street.
Stocks soared, sank and then clawed their way back to a mixed close Friday after the Labor Department released its February jobs report.
Employers cut 651,000 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate jumped to 8.1 percent. The government also revised its December and January job loss figures up to 681,000 and 655,000, respectively. Many market participants had been bracing for even worse readings.
Still, the major indexes remain down sharply for the week and near 12-year lows. The Dow Jones industrial average is down 6.2 percent for the week, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index is down 7 percent. Both have fallen more than 24 percent since the start of 2009.
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