The benchmark S&P 500 index is in what Wall Street calls a correction, and is headed toward a bear market, threatening to end the more than 9-year US bull market run.
After failing to make a decisive recovery and closing the day with heavy losses on Thursday, major equity indexes in the U.S. Started the last day of the week on a positive note. The technology-driven NASDAQ Composite closed at 6528.41, down 108.42 or -1.63%.
The benchmark S&P 500 index has slumped 10.6 percent this month and is nearly 16 percent below the peak it reached in late September. All of the major indexes have lost 16 to 26 percent from their highs this summer and fall. That's the steepest weekly percentage loss since October 2008.
Some investors are not convinced the current bull market is over for the S&P 500.
The possibility of a partial shutdown of the federal government also loomed over the market on Thursday, as funding for the government runs out at midnight Friday.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate approved funds for several federal agencies to keep them operating through February 9 without the $5 billion to build a wall on the U.S. -Mexico border that President Trump had demanded.
The initial tick upward came as Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John Williams said that the central bank could reassess its interest rate policy and balance sheet reduction in the new year if the economy slows.
On Thursday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin categorized that market response as "completely overblown".
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The FAANG group of momentum stocks fared poorly.
The S&P 500 fell 61 points, or 2.4 percent, to 2,445. Shares of both Apple Inc and Google parent Alphabet Inc dropped more than 3 percent.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 414.23 points, or 1.8 percent, to 22,445.37.
For the week, the S&P 500 fell 7.05 percent, the Dow dropped 6.87 percent, and the Nasdaq declined 8.36 percent. The day before, almost 3,000 stocks hit their low for the year, the most in any one day since October 2008.
Adding to the mix was "quadruple-witching", when options on stocks and indexes as well as futures on indexes and stocks expire, tending to raise volumes.
Stock indexes are meandering up and down in midday trading as the market steadies following two days of steep drops.
In France, the CAC 40 lost 1.8 percent and Germany's DAX fell 1.4 percent.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 2.52-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 3.32-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.