US STOCKS-Wall St falls on Europe debt worries, trade choppy

* Fears of Greece contagion rattle markets

* US economy adds 290,000 jobs in April, unemployment up

* Trading glitch may have contributed to Thursday tumble

* Dow off 0.5 pct, S&P off 0.6 pct, Nasdaq off 1.1 pct

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
(Updates to midday, changes byline)

By Leah Schnurr and Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK, May 7 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) fell on Friday on
fears of a financial meltdown stemming from the debt crisis in
Greece, but trading was extremely volatile in the aftermath of
Thursday’s dramatic plunge, keeping investors on edge.

Stocks got some support from data showing the U.S. economy
added jobs in April at the fastest pace in four years. Indexes
were well off their lows for the day.

Governments around the world tried to calm markets after
fears about Greece’s debt crisis went global, with investors
seeing it as an omen of turmoil in other European economies.
Meanwhile, investors were still rattled by the uncertainty
surrounding the swiftness and size of Thursday’s drop.

“The concern over what’s unfolding in Europe is the major
overhang,” said Michael Strauss, chief economist and market
strategist at Commonfund in Wilton, Connecticut.

“All the eternal doom and gloomers are out, the people that
have been bearish for the last two years and never got bullish
at any point.”

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) lost 49.88 points,
or 0.47 percent, to 10,470.44. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index
(.SPX: ) fell 6.54 points, or 0.58 percent, to 1,121.61. The
Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: ) dropped 25.70 points, or 1.11
percent, to 2,293.94.

Stocks were off their lows by midday, and decliners and
advancers were nearly even on the NYSE.

The CBOE volatility index (.VIX: ), Wall Street’s so-called
fear gauge, fell back from a fresh 52-week high and was up only
about 5 percent.

The benchmark S&P 500 index briefly turned negative for the
year during Thursday’s free-fall but was back up 1 percent for
2010 on Friday.

The Nasdaq fared worse than the other two indexes as tech
stocks led the broader market lower. Apple Inc (Read more about Apple stock future.) (AAPL.O: ) fell
nearly 3 percent to $239.09 and Intel Corp (INTC.O: ) eased 0.8
percent to 21.33.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission held urgent
discussions with other regulators to try and shed light on the
causes of Thursday’s plunge. For details, see [ID:nN07263865]

The Dow suffered its biggest-ever intraday point drop —
998.5 points — on Thursday. The free-fall may have been
exacerbated by erroneous trades that showed some shares briefly
fell to nearly zero. The Nasdaq and other exchanges said they
would cancel erroneous trades. For a partial list of canceled
trades see [ID:nN06145481].

“The market would feel better if there was some glaring
mistake made somewhere along the line because it would make
what happened more comprehensible,” said Rick Meckler,
president, LibertyView Capital Management, New York.

“If that’s not the case and it’s just the result of
machine-driven trading, it will be more worrisome and cause to
pull back further from the market.”

Lawmakers in Germany and other euro zone countries backed
emergency aid for Greece, clearing key hurdles for Athens’
multibillion-euro aid package. Even so, investors remain
anxious that Greece’s debt problems could spill over to other
countries. [ID:nSGE64608F]

On the domestic front, U.S. employers added 290,000 jobs in
April, the Labor Department said, and revised figures for
February and March to show 121,000 more jobs were added than
previously thought. The unemployment rate, however, rose to 9.9
percent as the size of the labor force increased.
[ID:nN06115059].

A Reuters poll of economists had forecast an April increase
of 200,000 jobs and an unemployment rate of 9.7 percent.

On the upside, shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N: )
rose 1.6 percent to $144.58 after the Wall Street Journal
reported the company was in settlement talks with the SEC over
fraud charges. [ID:nSGE64606P]

Stock Market Basics

(Editing by Kenneth Barry)

US STOCKS-Wall St falls on Europe debt worries, trade choppy