Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
 / Updated 
By Thomas Franck, CNBC

Stocks plunged again on Friday, bringing the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s losses for the week to nearly 7 percent and ending its worst week since the financial crisis in 2008. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell into a bear market and the S&P 500 was on the brink of one itself, down nearly 18 percent from its record earlier this year.

The Federal Reserve’s rate hike on Wednesday drove the losses this week and fears of an extended government shutdown only added to the pain on Friday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 415.23 points to finish at 22,445.37 in turbulent trading that sent the blue-chip index up as much as 300 points earlier in the day, only to trade in negative territory less than one hour later. 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.

But those gains slowly disappeared as investors used that short-term pop as a chance to sell more. The broader S&P 500 fell 2 percent on Friday to close at 2,416.58, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite shed 2.99 percent to 6,332.99 with big losses in technology stocks including Facebook, Amazon and Apple.

Stocks accelerated to their lows after President Donald Trump’s trade adviser, Peter Navarro told Nikkei that it would be “difficult” for the U.S. and China to arrive at a permanent economic agreement after a 90-day ceasefire in the trade tensions.

Technology stocks led the sell-off again on Friday as they have since September. Facebook lost 5.3 percent, Apple lost 2 percent and Amazon lost 4.8 percent on Friday.

Athletic apparel company Nike was one of the few bright spots ralling nearly 8 percent following strong earnings results.

“The message people should take home, especially if there’s a government shutdown, is that longer term, the prospects for equities are not good,” said Komal Sri-Kumar, president of Sri-Kumar Global Strategies. “There are lots of signs now suggesting that we may be looking at a recession. I would say that the risk here is that a whole lot of confluence is taking place: The trade was is not going to end soon, and the Fed totally misjudged the market in suggesting two more rate hikes next year.”

On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 464.06 points to close at 22,859.6, bringing its two-day declines — which encompassed the market’s reaction to the Fed’s rate hike — to more than 800 points.

Stocks initially caught an early bid Friday morning after New York Fed President Williams said the central bank was listening to the market, and could re-evaluate its outlook for two rate hikes next year.

“We are listening, there are risks to that outlook that maybe the economy will slow further,” Williams told Steve Liesman on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” Friday.

“What we’re going to be doing going into next year is re-assessing our views on the economy, listening to not only markets but everybody that we talk to, looking at all the data and being ready to reassess and re-evaluate our views, ” he said.

U.S. equities quickly staged an about-face thereafter.