* January nonfarm payrolls 151,000 vs 190,000 est
* Average hourly earnings rise 0.5 pct
* LinkedIn, Tableau Software slide on weak forecasts
* Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft drag on Nasdaq, S&P
* Indexes down: Dow 1.24 pct, S&P 1.71 pct, Nasdaq 2.74 pct (Updates to early afternoon)
By Tanya Agrawal
Feb 5 (Reuters) - Wall Street was sharply lower on Friday after the January U.S. jobs report appeared to keep alive the prospect of a Fed rate hike this year and tech stocks sold off heavily.
Nonfarm payrolls increased by 151,000 jobs last month, below the 190,000 expected by economists polled by Reuters as the boost to hiring from unseasonably mild weather faded.
Despite the expected slowdown in job growth, the unemployment rate fell to 4.9 percent, the lowest since February 2008, and average hourly earnings increased 0.5 percent, suggesting the labor market recovery remains firm.
“That ... serves as a caution to markets that it is too early to take a Federal Reserve March hike completely off the table,” said Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz, Newport Beach, California.
Adding to the negative sentiment for the day, technology stocks sold off heavily following weak forecasts from LinkedIn and Tableau Software.
Big names such as Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft were among the biggest drags on the Nasdaq and the S&P 500.
At 11:44 a.m. ET (1644 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average was down 203.81 points, or 1.24 percent, at 16,212.77, the S&P 500 was down 32.68 points, or 1.71 percent, at 1,882.77 and the Nasdaq Composite index was down 123.66 points, or 2.74 percent, at 4,385.90.
Nine of the 10 major sectors were lower, with the technology index’s 2.92 percent fall leading the decliners.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has said the economy needs to create just under 100,000 jobs a month to keep up with growth in the working-age population.
Shortly after the jobs report, traders were pricing in one rate hike this year. Just before the report, no hikes were expected in 2016.
“The Fed I think is still very much in tightening mode. The financial turmoil may lead them to delay, but they’re still going to raising rates at some point,” said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Stocks have had a rough start to 2016, hurt by tepid U.S. growth, falling oil prices and concern that the world faces a China-led slowdown.
LinkedIn slumped 41.6 percent to $112.06, a day after the company’s revenue forecast missed estimates.
Tableau Software was down 47.6 percent at $42.87 after hitting an all-time low of $40.04.
Tyson Foods was up 9.74 percent at $57.01 after the biggest U.S. meat processor raised its full-year profit forecast.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 2,166 to 754. On the Nasdaq, 2,027 issues fell and 575 advanced.
The S&P 500 index showed five new 52-week highs and 21 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded two new highs and 133 new lows. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Don Sebastian)