Stocks ended a volatile week with wild swings Friday as China's surprise tightening of its lending standards rattled global markets. Investors, keen to play the dips, hit up technology.
"It’s looked upon as the safe play," Steve Grasso, a trader at Stuart Frankel told CNBC. "So guys are pulling money out of things that they were unsure of — and that means everything else besides technology — and putting it back to work … in what they’re calling the old standby, which is technology.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 45.05, or 0.4 percent, to close at 10,099.14, after being down more than 100 points earlier. Intel led a handful of gainers that also included Travelers and Kraft.
All U.S. markets are closed Monday for the President's Day holiday.
All three major indexes snapped a four-week losing streak but the Nasdaq was the week's big winner, ringing up its best week since early January.
Apple , Palm and Motorola were among the notable gainers.
Research In Motion gained about 3 percent after Wedbush Morgan starte coverage of the stock at "outperform," saying it was "exceptionally well positioned."
Though China has been long expected to continue its tightening measures, the timing of the measure caught markets off guard. China raised capital requirements by half a percentage point.
The news boosted the dollar but sent stocks and commodities lower. Crude settled at $74.13 a barrel and gold dropped to $1,090.
Boeing and Alcoa were the biggest drags on the Dow.
Among the day's economic news: U.S. retail sales rose 0.5 percent in January, on target, but auto sales remained weak.
"Consumers have indeed become increasingly open to purchases that extend beyond everyday staples," Brian Sozzi, an equity research analyst at Wall Street Strategies, noted, but cautioned that "February retail sales may break the trend seen in spending since last summer given very poor weather conditions across the country."
Consumer stocks finished mixed, with a handful of retailers gaining.
The Dow's consumer components finished lower, including Procter & Gamble , which was started with an "outperform" rating and price target of $74 by Credit Suisse.
3M shares skidded over 1 percent after Bank of America-Merrill Lynch downgraded the stock to "underperform" from "neutral," saying it sees less upside potential.
Toyota said it's planning a new level of disclosure— beyond the legal requirement — when it comes to safety problems with its vehicles. Its shares rose 1.4 percent.
Berkshire Hathaway shares rose as investors cheered the impending arrival of Warren Buffett's conglomerate on the S&P 500 after the closing bell today. As a result, index funds were selling other stocks which accounted for some of the S&P's decline.