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Oct 2 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks opened sharply lower on Friday after data showed a lower-than-expected rise in nonfarm payrolls in September, raising doubts that the economy is strong enough to absorb an interest rate increase this year.
A small hike in rates could help calm volatile equity markets and start giving the Fed some ammunition to deal with any future economic slowdowns.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 84.05 points, or 0.52 percent, to 16,187.96, the S&P 500 lost 14.19 points, or 0.74 percent, to 1,909.63 and the Nasdaq composite dropped 58.21 points, or 1.26 percent, to 4,568.88. (Reporting By Samantha Kareen Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)