Stocks tumbled Thursday after the Labor Department reported that the number of people who filed for jobless claims last week was 400,000, the level below which economists say they must drop to dent unemployment.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 350 points, or roughly 3 percent, as of about an hour before closing, roughly wiping out gains for the year. The S&P 500 stock index and Nasdaq also fell more than 3 percent, resuming the eight-day slide that took a brief upward turn at the end of the day on Wednesday.
The Labor Department is expected to release a relatively weak employment report for July on Friday morning, with economists surveyed by Reutersexpecting nonfarm payrolls to pick up just 85,000 jobs.
Real-time Dow data is available here.