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Stocks poised for muted open after US reports job losses in March

U.S. stocks were poised to fall Friday after the government reported a big loss in jobs last month because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Futures for the Dow Jones industrial average fell 100 points while Standard & Poor’s 500 futures were flat. 

The U.S. lost 701,000 jobs in March, the Labor Department said Friday, the first decline in job creation in a decade. The unemployment rate last month rose to 4.4% from 3.5%. 

The data comes after a separate report on Thursday showed a record 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week. That was double the previous week’s job losses of 3.3 million. It raised the total number of Americans who are out of work due to the coronavirus-driven downturn to almost 10 million.

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