Whipsawing global markets scream fears about global growth conditions and unless data from the world's major economies improve, a deeper correction is on the cards, say strategists.
Asian markets tumbled on Friday, extending the sharp selloff in U.S. and European equities overnight as intensifying concerns over the health of the euro zone economy hit risk appetite.
Australia's benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index led losses, falling 1.8 percent in the morning session, while Japan's and South Korea's KOSPI were both off 1.2 percent.
"There are a lot of questions at the moment and not a lot of answers in regards to Europe's economy, the stability of China's housing market and the timing of the Fed's first rate hike," Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG told CNBC.
"The hallmarks are in place for a stock market correction – Brent crude prices are falling, long-end U.S. bonds are telling the story that markets are starting to look at low growth and low inflation for a long period of time," he said.
In order to arrest the volatile downtrend in stocks, there needs to be a good run of economic data out the world's leading economies, Weston said.
Negative macro news flow out of Europe, China and Japan in recent weeks has fueled concerns that the global recovery may be stalling.
On Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its global growth forecasts to 3.3 percent for this year and 3.8 percent for next year – from 3.4 percent and 4 percent.
'Correction is underway'
Nicholas Ferres, investment director, global asset allocation, Eastspring Investments say the bearish price action suggests a market correction is already underway.
"Overnight the mindlessly bullish JBTD (Just Buy the Dip) crowd felt the cold steel of Edward Scissor hands. Failure of the market to extend the rebound from the prior day probably suggests that a deeper correction is likely underway," he said.
"From my perch, this reflects a genuine growth scare, evident in the macro news flow from Europe, China and Japan, rather than a direct fear of U.S. policy normalization," he said.
It has been a choppy week for global markets, which sold-off on Tuesday after the IMF growth downgrade, recovered on Wednesday as minutes from the Federal Reserve's policy meeting in September suggested it would move more cautiously raising interest rates only to slump again on Thursday.
Ferres points out that outside the U.S., the fall in equity markets has already been material. In Asia, South Korea's KOSPI and Australia's have fallen 3 percent and 4.4 percent, respectively, over the past three months. In Europe, Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 are off 8.2 percent and 5 percent, respectively, over the same period.
Hang in there
Kenny Polcari, director at O'Neil Securities recommends staying invested in the market, as he believes the current sell-down is more of a "shake out" than the beginning of a correction.
"I think you've got to ride this one out. I don't think it's the beginning of the end," Polcari told CNBC.
Looking at technical, the S&P 500 index would need to fall to 1,800 for a "formal" 10 percent correction, and it's unlikely to get there, he said. The index closed at 1,928 on Thursday.
"If it goes down to test the 200-moving day average at 1,900 or 1,905, which is exactly where I think it's going to go, that's where it's going to find stability," Polcari said.