* About 98,000 jobs added in March vs est. 180,000
* U.S. fires missiles at Syrian air base late Thursday
* Raytheon, Lockheed gain after US strikes on Syria
* Indexes dip: Dow 0.15 pct, S&P 0.17 pct, Nasdaq 0.26 pct
(Updates to open)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
April 7 U.S. stocks dipped in volatile trading
on Friday morning as a disappointing U.S. jobs report added to
investors' nervousness following a U.S. missile strike on Syria.
U.S. employers added about 98,000 jobs in March, the lowest
in 10 months and well below economists' expectation of 180,000.
The report from the Labor Department was an outlier among a
spate of recent positive economic data.
Financial stocks were hit the most. The S&P 500 financial
index was down 0.4 percent, led by banks.
The United States fired several missiles late on Thursday at
an airfield in Syria from which a deadly chemical attack was
launched earlier this week.
That news of the attack sent global stocks lower, with the
S&P 500 futures index falling as much as 0.5 percent. But most
of the losses were pared back after U.S. officials described the
attack as a one-off that would not lead to wider escalation.
"You are still at all-time highs and a disappointing
headline number gives them (investors) a reason for a quick
knee-jerk reaction like that," said Sean Lynch, co-head of
global equity strategy at Wells Fargo Investment Institute in
"But it wouldn't surprise me at all if we gain a little
momentum back because this number doesn't portray an economy
that is in trouble or slowing down and investors will start to
look through that."
At 9:56 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was
down 31.67 points, or 0.15 percent, at 20,631.28, the S&P 500
was down 4.09 points, or 0.17 percent, at 2,353.4 and the
Nasdaq Composite was down 15.16 points, or 0.26 percent,
Defense stocks jumped on news of the U.S. missile strike.
Raytheon, which makes the Tomahawk cruise missiles used
in the strike, was up 3.1 percent. Lockheed Martin was
up 1.4 percent.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,549
to 1,052. On the Nasdaq, 1,595 issues fell and 764 advanced.
The S&P 500 index showed eight 52-week highs and no new
lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 23 highs and 14 lows.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by