That sell-off extended to Thursday, when U.S. stock markets reopened for trading after a national day of mourning for former President George H.W. Bush. An early plunge knocked 700 points off the Dow as investors worried the arrest of a senior Chinese technology company official would undermine trade negotiations between Washington and Beijing. But stocks bounced nearly all the way back by the end of the day on news that the Federal Reserve was considering a wait-and-see approach to its interest rate hikes.
That optimism fueled a rally early Friday, which faded into another sharp drop.
“We’re in a market where investors just want to sell any upside that they see,” said Lindsey Bell, investment strategist at CFRA. “The volatility we’ve seen the last couple of weeks has been pretty extreme in both directions.”
The S&P 500 index fell 2.3 percent. The index has ended lower three out of the last four weeks. The Dow dropped 2.2 percent. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite slid 3 percent.
The S&P 500 and Dow are now in the red for the year again. The Nasdaq was holding on to a modest gain.