U.S. stocks closed more than 1 percent lower on Friday after see-sawing between gains and losses through the day, capping a tumultuous week on Wall Street.
It was a fourth straight weekly loss for stocks. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 173 points and remained below 11,000. The S&P 500 stock index and Nasdaq slid 1.50 and 1.62 percent, respectively. Gold, which investors turn to as a safe haven in uncertain economic times, surged to a record high over $1,850 an ounce.
Friday was a quiet day for market news, suggesting the slump is tied to continued worries over the U.S. and European economies rather than fresh concerns.
Asian markets, which had missed some of Thursday’s dramatic sell-off, posted steeper losses on Friday. In Japan, the Nikkei closed down 2.5 percent, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 3 percent.
Markets in Europe followed Asian markets into negative territory on Friday as fears about the state of the economy in the U.S. and debt-laden Europe worried investors. The Euro Stoxx 50 index lost 2.1 percent as London’s FTSE 100 closed down 1 percent.
Investors will be watching closely for any hints of action from the Federal Reserve when Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, next Friday. Last year, he announced another round of monetary easing at the central bank's Wyoming meeting.
Michael Catalini contributed.