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Stocks Close Lower Ahead of April Jobs Report
CNBC.com | May 03, 2012 | 04:59 PM EDT

Stocks finished in negative territory Thursday, with the S&P falling below its key 1400 milestone, weighed down by a weak ISM non-manufacturing report and as investors stayed cautious ahead of Friday's government jobs data.

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  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped 61.98 points, or 0.47 percent, to close at 13,206.59, led by Bank of America and H-P .

    The S&P 500 erased 10.74 points, or 0.77 percent, to finish at 1,391.57. The Nasdaq fell 35.55 points, or 1.16 percent, to end at 3,024.30.

    The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, closed above 17.

    Most key S&P sectors closed in the red, led by energy and materials, while consumer staples eked out a small gain.

    “This selloff got worse as the day went on…volume wasn't that heavy either,” said Joe Saluzzi, co-manager of trading at Themis Trading. “It may be the anticipation of the jobs number tomorrow.”

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