By JeeYeon Park, CNBC.com
Stocks closed near session-lows Friday with the Dow falling below the 12,000-mark to finish lower for the sixth-consecutive week amid further signs of a global economic slowdown.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 172.45 points, or 1.42 percent, to end at 11,951.91—below the 12,000-mark, the first time since Mar. 18, 2011. This week marks the Dow's worst losing streak since 2002.
The S&P 500 slid 18.02 points, or 1.40 percent, to finish at 1,270.98—breaking the 1,275 support level.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq slumped 41.14 points, or 1.53 percent, to close at 2,643.73. The Nasdaq is now in the negative territory for the year.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, gained 6.13 percent to close at 18.86.
For the week, the Dow declined 1.64 percent, the S&P shed 2.24 percent and the Nasdaq dropped 3.26 percent. All 10 of the key S&P sectors slipped for the week, led by techs, consumer discretionary and energy.
Cisco was the biggest laggard on the blue-chip index this week, down 5.56 percent, while 3M has the most positive impact, gaining 0.03 percent.
June is now on track to be the worst month for major averages since May 2010.
“We’re in for a correction,” said Kenny Polcari, managing director at ICAP Equities.
Polcari said the S&P will continue to trade between 1,250 and 1,325 – the 200-day and 50-day moving averages. The next big catalyst for markets is the earnings reports, he explained, which will kick off in another four weeks.
Meanwhile, Rob Stein, portfolio manager and senior economist of Astor Asset Management, said while there may be further market declines, this is still not the beginning of a bear market or another recession.
“Markets being down for six weeks is an anomaly, but I don’t think it takes away from the fact that GDP’s growing—it’s still positive,” Stein noted. “We’re revering to the mean and markets are trying to find an equilibrium…we are still up year-over-year.”
Financials made a late-session comeback after news that extra capital charge on the biggest banks is likely to be at 2 to 2.5 percent, instead of the widely-reported 3 percent, CNBC learned. JPMorgan, BofA and Citigroup rebounded. Regulators will be meeting formally in two weeks to discuss the charge.
"[The news] moved the banks...it moved the tape," commented a trader.
The report comes after JPMorgan's CEO Jamie Dimon confronted Fed chairman Ben Bernanke earlier this week over the numerous new banking regulations, including a new surcharge for the biggest banks.
Earlier in the session, banks tumbled after the Fed said it is proposing that firms with $50 billion or more in assets be subjected to annual stress tests. Financials have been on the decline in the last few weeks and is the worst performer this year, down 7.25 percent year-to-date. However, Stein said the sector is likely to see a rebound in the third-quarter “once interest rates normalize.”
With most blue-chip components trading lower, Travelers led the laggards after the property insurer said it is slowing down its share buyback program. And Pfizer slid even after the drugmaker won European regulatory clearance to acquire Danish medical services company Ferrosan's consumer healthcare business.
The semiconductors tumbled with the Philadelphia semiconductor index dipping below its 200-day moving average. Intel declined after Macquarie cut its price target on the tech giant to $24.60 from $26.70. Rivals Taiwan Semi and TexasInstruments also lagged.
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and TPG have decided not to bid for a stake in Nokia Siemens Networks after failing to agree on a price and level of control over the company.
Toyota Motor slipped after the Japanese automaker said it expects operating profit this business year to fall more than 30 percent after the nation's disastrous earthquake severely disrupted car production and slashed sales.
Zipcar jumped after JPMorgan raised the firm to "overweight" from "neutral."
AT&T gained after S&P Equity upgraded its rating on the telecom giant to "strong buy" from "buy."
Among earnings, Lululemon rose after the yoga-apparel retailer posted stronger-than-expected results, thanks to gains in online and in-store sales.
On the IPO front, Ally Financial delayed a $6 billion public offering, while Pandora unveiled terms for a bigger IPO as the Internet-radio company said the estimated price was lifted by $3 a share to a range of $10 to $12 each. Pandora previously planned to price between $7 and $9 a share.
Trading on the consolidated tape of the NYSE was at 3.81 billion shares, while 1.01 billion shares changed hands on the floor.
Oil prices slipped after Saudi Arabia began offering more oil to Asian refiners, easing worries about supply following an inconclusive OPEC meeting. U.S. light, sweet crude fell $2.64, or 2.59 percent to settle at $99.29 a barrel, whileLondon Brent crude slipped 79 cents to settle at $118.78 a barrel.
On the economic front, import prices rose for an eight straight month in May, with the year-on-year increase reaching its highest level in nearly three years, according to the Labor Department.
Stocks were initially pressured after China posted a smaller-than-expected trade surplus in May due to soaring imports and weaker demand growth, emphasizing the view that the global economy may be struggling.
European shares fell to a three-month closing low amid concerns over the pace of global economic recovery.