Stocks suffered their worst day of the year, with the Dow tumbling into negative territory for 2012, after a disappointing jobs report in addition to dismal data from China and Europe fueled fears over the health of the global economy.
Whether the stock selloff continues through the summer "really depends on the government," said Doug Roberts, managing partner at Channel Capital Research. "If [the Fed] starts making news about QE3, than you can start to see this [selloff] is going to be relatively short-lived."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 274.88 points, or 2.22 percent, to end at 12,118.57, led by H-P and AmEx .
The S&P 500 tumbled 32.29 points, or 2.46 percent, to finish at 1,278.04. The Nasdaq plummeted 79.86 points, or 2.82 percent, to close at 2,747.48. Both the S&P and Nasdaq entered correction territory from their 2012 highs.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, surged more than 10 percent to close above 26.
For the week, the Dow dropped 2.70 percent, the S&P 500 declined 3.02 percent, and the Nasdaq erased 3.17 percent.
All 10 S&P sectors finished negative for the week, led by energy.
The U.S. added just 69,000 new jobs in May while the unemployment rate grewto 8.2 percent, fueling speculation that the Fed might be prompted to intervene with another round of quantitative easing. Economists polled by Reuters had expected nonfarm payrolls to increase 150,000 and the jobless rate to hold steady at 8.1 percent.
"It's painfully obvious the economic recovery in the U.S. isn't just slowing down, it's pulling up the emergency brake," said Todd Schoenberger, managing principal The BlackBay Group.
Also on the economic front, construction spending rose a less-than-expected 0.3 percent and the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index also came in light at 53.5—still in expansion territory but reflective of a slowdown.