Updated from 4:03 p.m. EDT

Stocks plunged Friday, as rising oil prices and the fallout from disappointing earnings calls from Microsoft ( MSFT) and Amazon.com ( AMZN), took the Nasdaq Composite to new lows for the year, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell below 10,000.

After bottoming out at a new intraday low for the year at 1845, the tech-heavy Nasdaq proceeded to hit its lowest close so far this year, down 39.97 points, or 2.12%, to 1849.09.

The Dow closed below 10,000 for the first time since May, dropping 88.11 points, or 0.88%, to 9962.22; and the S&P 500 fell just 2 points shy of its lowest close of the year, down 10.63 points, or 0.97%, to 1086.21.

Volume stayed on the high end of recent summer trading levels, over 1.3 billion on the New York Stock Exchange, where decliners outnumbered advancers by about 2-to-1. On the Nasdaq, nearly 1.7 billion shares changed hands, and decliners held close to a 7-to-2 majority.

In other markets, the 10-year Treasury note traded up 3/32, with yield at 4.43%; gold was down, and oil prices climbed 25 cents, or 0.6%, to $41,61 a barrel, less than a dollar shy of its record close of $42.33 set in June. The dollar rose against the euro and the Japanese yen.

Stuart Freeman, chief equity strategist with A.G. Edwards, said the selloff was part of a knee-jerk response to the first inklings of an inevitable slowdown in earnings growth that is a natural part of the upswing in an economic cycle.

"We're seeing some knee-jerk responses, and we're also probably having some technical reaction," Freeman said. "When analysts see prices drop below certain averages, they'll sometimes make decisions on that basis to pull in a bit. Also, we're going into a weekend, and if investors are feeling somewhat cautionary, sometimes they hang it up before the weekend."

He thinks the bull market of 2003 has another couple of years to go before it peters out.

Hinting towards an earnings slowdown, Microsoft reported fourth-quarter earnings that missed estimates by a penny on stronger-than-expected revenue after Thursday's close. As expected, the software behemoth also lowered guidance for fiscal 2005 earnings to reflect its plan announced earlier this week to pay out some $75 billion of its cash to shareholders. Wall Street's bad reviews weighed heavily on the market Friday, sending the software giant's stock down 97 cents, or 3.3%, to $28.03.

Also, Amazon said it swung to a profit in its second quarter, but its results fell short of expectations, sending the stock down $5.84, or 12.7%, to $39.98.

"Earnings from technology companies have underwhelmed investors this quarter, and when you combine that with bad numbers from Intel ( INTC) and fears of a glut in chip inventories, it's making investors back off from technology for the most part," said Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist with Spencer Clarke LLC. "But the market as a whole is not looking particularly good right now from a technical standpoint.