Employment growth in the U.S. was weaker-than-expected in August, with nonfarm payrolls increasing 169,000 in August, compared with expected job gains of 180,000 last month, according to economists polled by Reuters.
The unemployment rate ticked down to 7.3 percent last month, from 7.4 percent in July. This comes ahead of the Federal Reserve’s highly anticipated policy meeting on September 17-18, where the FOMC will debate whether to taper the central bank’s $85 billion-a-month bond-buying program.
In company news, KKR & Co. L.P. (NYSE: KKR) is about to gain preferential negotiating rights for a majority stake in Panasonic Corporation’s (PCRFY) healthcare unit. The potential deal would be worth $1.5 billion.
Shares of KKR rose 0.46 percent to $19.51 in morning trading, while Panasonic edged down 0.87 percent.
In other news, Goldman Sachs upgraded E-Trade to a "buy" from "neutral," while Deutsche Bank initiated coverage of Yelp with a "buy" rating and a price target of $81.
Shares of E-Trade jumped 4.95 percent to $16.32 in morning trading, while Yelp rose 4.40 percent to $61.50 per share.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 75.44 points, or 0.5 percent, at 14,862.04. The S&P 500 Index was down 4.05 percent, or 0.24 percent, at 1,651.07. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 9.89 points, or 0.29 percent, at 3,648.35.