Updated from 4:04 p.m. EST
Stocks in the U.S. fell hard again Friday as increased loan losses at Wachovia (WB) and a weak quarter from Qualcomm (QCOM - Get Report) weighed on sentiment and had the major averages in the red all session.
The selling accelerated in the final minutes of the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 223.55 points, or 1.69%, to 13,042.74, and the S&P 500 dropped 21.07 points, or 1.43%, to 1453.70. The Nasdaq Composite plunged by 68.06 points, or 2.52%, to 2627.94.
"There were not a lot of people willing to go long into the weekend," said Larry Wachtel, senior market analyst with Wachovia Securities. "It looked like with financials firming up we'd have a better final hour, but the market simply faded. There wasn't any other trigger for the late-day decline. We've had a big correction, so now it's a bottoming process that will lead us into next week."The major averages notched a second losing week in a row. The Dow lost 4%, and the S&P 500 closed down 3.8%. The Nasdaq suffered the most, tumbling more than 6.5%. Breadth was weak and volume was heavy heading into the weekend. On the New York Stock Exchange 4.44 billion shares changed hands, as decliners toppled advancers by an 8-to-3 margin. Volume on the Nasdaq reached 2.95 billion shares, with losers beating winners 2 to 1.