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NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks fell early Friday as worries about the worsening picture of the Russia-Ukraine conflict overshadowed a strong US jobs report.

European stocks plunged in the aftermath of a fire at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station in Ukraine following a Russian attack. Western officials condemned Moscow over the onslaught, while international monitors reported no spike in radiation.

Meanwhile, US employers added 678,000 workers to their payrolls in February, driving the unemployment rate down to 3.8 percent in a monthly report that was better than expected.

About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1.1 percent at 33,408.63.

The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 1.1 percent to 4,316.34, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index declined 1.0 percent to 13,401.62.

Dow, S&P 500 extend gains as markets monitor Ukraine

The losses were smaller than three percent plunge in leading bourses in Europe, where experts are girding for a bigger hit to economic output due to the escalating attack on Ukraine.

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