There was little going on regionally to alter the market's trajectory after the USA benchmark S&P 500 gave up 3.5%, its biggest loss in three months, and the Nasdaq fell 5% as high-flying technology companies took a tumble after months of spectacular gains.
The Nasdaq Composite lost 145 points or 1.27% percent Friday and was down 3.27% for the week.
At 3:01 p.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 45.69 points, or 0.16%, at 28,247.04, the S&P 500 lost 16.32 points, or 0.47%, to 3,438.74 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 116.73 points, or 1.02%, to 11,341.37. Shares of Apple, for example, managed to turn positive late in Friday's session, notching a small gain after falling deep in the red earlier in the day. Analysts say that move has turbocharged the tech sector, whose sheer size drives broader market swings.
Wall Street's main indexes closed sharply lower on Thursday, marking their deepest one-day declines since June as investors dumped the high-flying technology sector, while economic data highlighted concerns about a long and hard recovery.More news: Solskjaer in personal meeting with Thiago Alcantara over Man Utd move
Tesla Inc. shares tumbled 6% postmarket Friday as investors who contributed to its jaw-dropping rally this year in anticipation it may join the S&P 500 Index will have to wait for another day.
"Given the market's seemingly relentless climb higher on the back of the mega-cap tech names, it should be no surprise that a pullback was in the offing as the market became increasingly extended and overbought", said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial Inc. The index fell to 56.9 last month from 58.1.
The gains have been based on "very optimistic assumptions" about the virus's impact on the economy, as well as on prospects for Congress and the White House coming up with another economic relief package.More news: Serbia, Kosovo announce closer economic ties at White House event
The selling followed a Labor Department report showing that USA hiring slowed to 1.4 million last month, the fewest jobs added since the economy started bouncing back from the initial shock of the pandemic, even as the nation's unemployment rate improved to 8.4% from 10.2%. Tens of millions of Americans remain unemployed however, as seen by this week's unemployment benefits numbers.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 4.14-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 4.20-to-1 ratio favored decliners. Economists surveyed by FactSet forecast that the US economy created 1.4 million jobs in August, but that would be down from 1.74 million jobs in July.
Semiconductor companies also fell sharply. Even with Thursday's drop Nvidia is still the biggest gainer in the S&P 500 so far this year.
West Texas Intermediate crude declined 0.6% to $41.25 a barrel.More news: Vidal Can Satisfy Conte, I’d Play Nainggolan In Front Of The Defence
The euro rose 0.1% to $1.1862.