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Stocks tumbled on Friday, with the Dow heading for its worst week in 18 months, after big selloffs in European and Asian markets on concerns for global economies and currencies.
After falling as much as 207 points in the morning, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 197 points, or 1.22 percent, in early afternoon trading. It is down 2.7 percent for the week -- its worst since June 2012 -- and 3.4 percent for the year.
The S&P 500 fell 22 points, or 1.2 percent, with industrial companies hardest hit, and telecommunications the strongest performer of its 10 major sectors. The Nasdaq declined 57 points, or 1.46 percent.
"While 2013 turned out to be a stellar year for U.S. equities, the climate proved unsavory for emerging markets," slammed by the perceived threat of rising U.S. yields resulting from a prospective slowdown by the Federal Reserve of its asset purchases, said Andrew Wilkinson, chief market analyst at Interactive Brokers.
"Emerging-market currencies have been coming under pressure causing some to erroneously point out it is because of the Fed taper. It is more because of political instability in countries like Argentina and Turkey, which is just another reason to stay underweight EM," said Nick Raich, CEO at the Earnings Scout.
Emerging-market currencies got hammered on Friday, with Turkey's lira falling to a record low against the dollar, and Argentina's peso down sharply against the U.S. currency. European and Asian markets closed down as a result.
(Reuters contributed to this article)