U.S. stocks extend drop after sharp selloff

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U.S. stocks accelerated losses in midday Friday, as investors remained nervous after the market suffered a big loss the prior day.

Wall Street was hit hard across the board on Thursday, falling about 2 percent, with a combination of factors to blame for the rout, including European deflationary pressure, Argentinean debt default as well as negative sentiment, seasonality and momentum concerns in the U.S. market.

Major indices initially edged down slightly on Friday after data showed the U.S. non-farm payroll grew at a slower pace and jobless rate ticked up slightly.

Some 209,000 new jobs were added to the U.S. economy in July following an upwardly revised 298,000 gain the prior month, marking the sixth consecutive month of more than 200,000 job gains, the Labor Department said. Meanwhile, unemployment rate was little changed at 6.2 percent in July from 6.1 percent in June.

Although both figures missed market expectations, analysts believe the goldilocks numbers may allay concerns that the U.S. Federal Reserve would hike the federal funds rate earlier than expected.

However, the market soon lost steam again, as a significant correction that is overdue seemed coming.

Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said Wednesday in an interview with Bloomberg Television that the U.S. stock market is due for a "significant correction" at some point after rallying for a long time.

Among other data, U.S. personal income and personal consumption expenditure both jumped 0.4 percent in June, the Labor Department said in a separate report. The data was in line with market consensus.

The Commerce Department reported Friday that U.S. construction spending in June unexpectedly fell, down 1.8 percent compared with the preceding month.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment for the United States came out at 81.8 in July, slight up from its preliminary reading of 81.3, but down from a final June reading of 82.5.

Besides, a pair of data indicated the U.S. manufacturing sector continued its robust improvement in July. Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in July for the 14th consecutive month, with the manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) registering 57.1, higher than June's reading and market forecast, said the Institute for Supply Management.

Financial data firm Markit reported that the final Markit U.S. Manufacturing PMI registered 55.8 in July, down from a 49-month high of 57.3 in June but well above the neutral 50, which signaled a robust improvement in overall business conditions across the manufacturing sector.

In midday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 112.38 points, or 0.68 percent, to 16,450.92. The S&P 500 declined 12.81 points, or 0.66 percent, to 1,917.86. The Nasdaq Composite Index tumbled 41.46 points, or 0.95 percent, to 4,328.31. Endite

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