Stocks fall on weak job growth in March
NEW YORK — Investors had a three-day weekend to brood over disappointing job growth in March. When they got back to work Monday and delivered their verdict, it wasn’t good.
Stocks closed sharply lower, sending the Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index to only their second four-day losing streak this year.
The Dow finished down 130.55 points at 12,929.59, its first close below 13,000 since March 12. The S&P ended the day off 15.88 points at 1,382.20. The Nasdaq composite closed down 33.42 at 3,047.08.
With the stock market closed for Good Friday, the government said the country added just 120,000 jobs in March, half the pace from December through February.
The Dow has lost 330 points over the four-day stretch.
Price of oil declines on economic woes
NEW YORK — Concerns about the economy pushed oil prices lower on Monday.
West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark crude, gave up 85 cents to end at $102.46 per barrel. Brent crude, which is used to price oil imported by U.S. refineries, fell by 76 cents to finish at $122.67 per barrel.
The U.S. economy added just 120,000 jobs in March — half as much as each of the previous three months. The government reported the disappointing data on Friday, but Monday was the first day oil markets could react.
Analysts said the slower pace of hiring could be a symptom of a weakening economy.
In the U.S., gasoline prices fell by about a penny over the weekend to about $3.93 per gallon, according to auto club AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service.
Experts still say that prices could peak this month between $4.25 and $4.35 per gallon.
AT&T sells off Yellow Pages to focus on wireless
NEW YORK — AT&T Inc. on Monday said that it had agreed to sell a majority stake in its Yellow Pages business to the private-equity firm Cerberus Capital for $950 million.
The sale is part of AT&T’s strategy to jettison shrinking parts of its business to focus on growing ones, particularly wireless. Revenue from the Yellow Pages business has shrunk 30 percent in two years, as consumers turn to the Web instead of phone books.
The assets being sold include the printed Yellow and White Pages, websites like Yellowpages.com and mobile app. Together, they generated revenue of $3.3 billion last year, about 3 percent of AT&T’s overall revenue.
Reports: Sony to cut 10,000 jobs over next year
TOKYO — Sony Corp. will cut about 10,000 jobs worldwide over the next year as it tries to return to profit, Japanese news reports said Monday.
The Nikkei business daily and other media said Sony’s decision to slash 6 percent of its work force comes as it struggles with weak TV sales and swelling losses.
Sony spokeswoman Yoko Yasukouchi wouldn’t confirm the reports. New CEO Kazuo Hirai is holding a press conference Thursday.
Sony earlier this year reported a $2.1 billion loss for the October-December quarter and more than doubled its projected loss for the full fiscal year through March 2013.
Local AgSouth Farm Credit borrowers to receive $2.6M
Local members of AgSouth Farm Credit in Summerville will receive $2.6 million from the cooperative’s surplus funds in mid-April.
The checks are part of nearly $48 million being returned to members of the Statesboro, Ga.-based firm in South Carolina and Georgia.
Staff and wire reports