New York Stocks fell sharply Friday, pushing the Nasdaq composite index to its lowest level since May, as profit worries again rattled technology shares and an unexpected drop in unemployment rekindled fears of inflation.
The technology-focused Nasdaq composite index fell 111.09 to 3,361.01, only about 150 points above this year's lowest close at 3,205.11 on May 26. For the week, the Nasdaq fell 311.81 or 8.5 percent.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 128.38 to 10,596.54, its lowest close since August, giving the blue chips a loss of 54.38 for the week. The Standard & Poor's 500 fell 27.29 to 1,408.99, giving it a loss of 30.35 for the week.
"The market remains nasty and nervous," said Alan Ackerman, senior vice president at Fahnestock. "There are not many who believe we've hit the bottom yet."
The market opened the day higher, but soon turned lower as investors grew defensive before the barrage of profit reports expected during the next three weeks. Investors are increasingly worried that companies won't meet Wall Street forecasts.
"People want to get out of the technology names and nobody's home to bid for those stocks," said Charles White, portfolio manager at Avatar Associates.
Shares of Veeco tumbled $34.97 to $67.56, a 34 percent drop, after the semiconductor company warned of disappointing earnings and a UBS Warburg analyst downgraded the stock from "buy" to "hold."
A similar warning from software company Marimba sent its shares plunging nearly 50 percent, down $5.50 to $5.63.
Leading the Dow's decline was J.P. Morgan, slipping $6.38 to $153. Home Depot also weighed down the blue -chip average, falling $2.68 to $51.06, after rival Lowe's said its same-store sales, those from stores open at least a year, would be down for the third quarter.