Stocks fell for a third straight day Friday as the economic turmoil in Russia again took its toll on Wall Street, bringing the largest weekly point loss for the Dow Jones industrial average.
"You've got a lot of Nervous Nellies out there who own stocks, they're afraid the sky is falling," said Doug Myers, vice president of equity trading at Interstate/Johnson Lane. "It seems you have to have an ironclad digestive system to buy stock now."
The Dow held above 8,000, but that was just about the only positive Friday as stocks extended the steepest drop since 1990.
After a huge 357-point slide Thursday, its third-biggest points slide ever, the Dow ended off 114.31 points, or 1.4 percent, at 8,051.68 by Friday's close.
For the week, it was off 481.97 points.
Several attempted rebounds from Thursday's plunge unraveled as soon as they began.
The Dow, which has fallen 550 points in just three sessions, is now 1,268 points, or 13.8 percent, below the July 17 record of 9,337.97. That's the steepest drop since a 21.2 percent slide triggered by the Persian Gulf crisis in the summer and fall of 1990.
The market's decline has been fueled by worries about how much and how long company profits will suffer with the Asian fiscal crisis stretching into a second year. Fears that the new crisis in Russia could threaten to slow the European economy or even spread to Latin America have also weighed on the market.
"Psychologically, a close below 8,000 would be a negative," said Bob Dickey, managing director of technical analysis at Dain Rauscher Wessels in Minneapolis, asserting that the market's summer slide is nearing a bottom. "What's bothered me has been how weak the market's been near the close the last few days," said Dickey. "Investors don't want to be at risk overnight and especially over a weekend. If we do get more bad news, it could set us up for (more selling) on Monday morning."
Trading was heavy again, with 1.974 billion shares changing hands, the fifth busiest day in U.S. stock market history. On Thursday, more than 2 billion shares were traded for only the second time.
Individual investors who were rattled by Thursday's decline were demonstrating some renewed confidence on Friday, according to some leading mutual fund companies.
At Dreyfus and Janus, investors moved some money from equity funds on Thursday. By Friday, many were moving their holdings back to stock funds, the companies said.
In Tokyo, the main stock index dove 3.5 percent to a 12-year low amid continuing worries about stalled efforts to revive the economy.
Hong Kong's key index fell 1.2 percent as the government announced that the once-booming economy there has fallen into recession as well.
Exchanges in London, Paris and Frankfurt all finished lower.
Among the hardest hit during U.S. trading were technology stocks, which have considerable exposure to the various fiscal crises overseas.
The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index fell 46.73 to 1,639.68, while the Standard & Poor's 500 fell 15.45 to 1,027.14.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers by nearly a 2-to-1 margin on the New York Stock Exchange.
Bond prices rose Friday and long-term yields inched down to a new low as investors sought safety from the drop on Wall Street. The 30-year Treasury benchmark bond rose 3-16 point, or $1.88 per $1,000 invested. Its yield slipped to 5.33 percent from 5.34 percent late Thursday. The yield hasn't been that low since the government began regular sales of the 30-year bonds in 1977.