Stocks closed mostly lower after a volatile week marked by swinging prices of commodities and currencies, as investors wrestled with the implications of a worsening European debt crisis and a global economic slowdown.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 42.99 points this week, or 0.34 percent, to close at 12,595.75. On Friday, the blue-chip index sank 100.17 points, or 0.8 percent.
JPMorgan and Bank of America, among the blue-chip average's biggest laggards on Friday, were also among the hardest hit financials.
For the week, McDonald's was the best Dow performer, rising 2.6 percent, while Caterpillar was the worst, falling 3.65 percent.
TheS&P 500 fell 2.43 points this week, or 0.2 percent, to close at 1,337.77. On Friday it fell 10.88 points, or 0.8 percent.
Procter & Gamble was the best S&P performer this week, up 2.4 percent, while Citigroup was the worst, falling more than 8 percent.
The Nasdaq rose 0.9 points or 0.03 percent this week, to close at 2,828.47. On Friday, the tech-heavy index fell 34.57 points, or 1.2 percent.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, fell 7 percent for the week to 17.11.
A rotation into defensive stocks continued this week, as consumer staples and utilities were the best performers.
Stocks began falling fast at mid-afternoon on Friday as the euro fell and the dollar strengthened. Also, bonds rallied, signaling bond investors have “no fear of growth and inflation,” said Brian Battle, vice president of trading at the Chicago-based Performance Trust Capital Partners.
That combined with the fact stocks have risen more than 6 percent so far this year and are fully valued, means stocks are at more risk for downside, Battle said.
“We need more confirming evidence of a recovery and we’re not getting it,” he said.
The dollar rose against a basket of currenciesafter news early in the session that consumer sentiment strengthened, and as the euro began sinking. A rising dollar puts pressure on stocks of companies that benefit from a weaker dollar in overseas sales.
Oil prices settled higher after trading lower much of the session. Despite the rout in commodities earlier in the week, U.S. light, sweet crude settled 2.54 percent higher at $99.65 a barrel, while in London, Brentcrude settled 4.31 percent higher at $113.83.
Meanwhile, goldfell 0.88 percent to $1,493.40 on Friday, and silver silver gained 0.6 percent to $35.01. For the week, gold gained 0.15 percent, while silver fell 0.77 percent.