WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Stocks moved sharply lower in early trading on Friday and have seen further downside over the course of the session. The major averages are extending a recent downward trend, with the Dow tumbling to its lowest intraday level in well over a year.
The major averages have climbed off their worst levels in recent trading continue to post steep losses. The Dow is down 626.93 points or 2.1 percent at 29,449.75, the Nasdaq is down 255.28 points or 2.3 percent at 10,811.53 and the S&P 500 is down 84.40 points or 2.3 percent at 3,673.59.
Concerns about the outlook for the global economy to continue to weigh on Wall Street following aggressive interest rate hikes by central banks around the world.
Traders remain concerned the central banks' efforts to combat elevated inflation will push the global economy into a recession.
The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by another 75 basis points earlier this week and signaled more significant rate hikes later this year.
While the Fed's projections pointed to an eventually tapering of rate hikes by next year, traders worry about the outlook for the global economy in the months ahead.
Shortly, Fed Chair Jerome Powell is scheduled to give opening remarks before a Fed Listens: Transitioning to the Post-pandemic Economy event.
Fed Vice Chair Lael Brainard and Fed Governor Michelle W. Bowman are also due to moderate conversations at the Fed Listens event.
Energy stocks continue to turn in some of the market's worst performances on the day amid a steep drop by the price of crude oil. Crude for November delivery is plunging $4.60 to $78.89 a barrel amid concerns about the outlook for demand.
Reflecting the sell-off in the energy sector, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index is down by 8.7 percent, the NYSE Arca Oil Index is down by 7.1 percent and the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index is down by 6.6 percent.
Gold stocks have also moved sharply lower along with the price of the precious metal, dragging the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index down by 5.3 percent.
Concerns about a global recession are also contributing to substantial weakness among steel stocks, as reflected by the 4.8 percent nosedive by the NYSE Arca Steel Index.
Airline, financial and computer hardware stocks are also seeing considerable weakness, moving lower along with most of the other major sectors.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower on Friday, with the Japanese markets closed for a holiday. China's Shanghai Composite Index slid by 0.7 percent, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index plunged by 1.9 percent.
The major European markets also showed significant moves to the downside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index plummeted by 2.3 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index both dove by 2.0 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries have turned positive over the course of the session after seeing initial weakness. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 3.7 basis points at 3.671 percent.
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