How major U.S. stock indexes fared on Friday

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"Sometimes we get something from out of the blue from other areas, but it really comes back to basic fundamentals of economics", Timmer said.

All 11 major sectors of the S&P 500 were in negative territory. Even with the pullback, the major indexes are still up more than 3 per cent this year. Daimler Benz (as we reported yesterday) disappointed the market with a warning that higher-than-expected tech investments would suppress earnings growth during 2018, and the DAX followed. It's on track for the worst week since February 2006.

"People are finally starting to reprice reflation, it's about time", said Ms Jeanne Asseraf-Bitton, head of global cross-asset research at Lyxor Asset Management. “Global economic growth is strong and corporate earnings are very solid, so theres no reason to question the equity bull market. Bottom line: "this is a healthy correction".

The US economy added 200,000 jobs in January, with unemployment holding at 4.1%. Equities are being tested by the surge in bond yields, with some fund managers saying 3 percent US 10-year rates would signal a bond bear market.

Friday capped an already tough stretch for the markets, with the Dow logging its worst week in two years.

The S&P 500 posted 18 new 52-week highs and 18 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 48 new highs and 103 new lows.

This resulted in a rise in interest rates and a drop in stock prices this week.

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The "VIX" has spent months at historically low levels, reflecting a placid market mood that seems to have evaporated over the past week.

Looking ahead, observers advise watching the Asian markets Monday for its likely negative reaction to NY trading today. Bitcoin continued to slide after a miserable January, falling below $8,000. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, fell $1.62, or 2.3 percent, to $68.03 per barrel in London.

Exxon Mobile sank 5 percent and Chevron lost 1.8 percent. It closed a four-month low.

The plunge represents the largest daily percentage drop for the index since June 2016 - soon after voters in the United Kingdom made a decision to leave the European Union. E-commerce giant gained 2.9 percent, Charter Communications Inc. rose 4.4 percent and Mattel Inc. surged 7.9 percent as investors speculated that Mattel's current restructuring would stem a years-long drop in the toymaker's sales. The euro weakened to $1.2451 from $1.2502.

The dollar rose to 110.28 yen from 109.42 yen on Thursday.

Average hourly earnings for USA workers were 2.9 percent higher in January than the previous year, the fastest annual increase in years. It touched 2.8525 earlier. Pointswise, the Dow has lost 952 points this week. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, a benchmark for interest rates on many kinds of loans, including mortgages, climbed to 2.84 percent, the highest level in about four years. Brent crude, used to price global oils, fell $1.07, or 1.5 per cent, to close at $68.58 a barrel in London. Futures on Friday decreased 0.8 percent to settle at $1,337.30 an ounce.

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