Stocks ended sharply lower across the board Friday, logging their worst one-day drop in almost four months, pressured by disappointing quarterly results that highlighted the global economic slowdown.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged more than 200 points, wiping out almost all of its gains for the week. Most Dow components closed in the red, led by McDonald's and GE.
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq also ended near session lows. The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, spiked more than 13 percent to above 17.
For the week, the Dow eked out a gain of 0.11 percent, the S&P 500 rose 0.32 percent, and the Nasdaq tumbled 1.26 percent. Travelers was the best performer on the Dow for the week, while IBM led the laggards.
Among the key S&P sectors, techs logged the biggest drop for the week, while materials gained.
Friday also marks the 25th anniversary of Black Monday, when the U.S. stock market went into a free fall and the Dow lost 22.6 percent in a single trading session. (Read More: 1987 Crash: Check Out These Prices!)
"I'm not terribly surprised by the [pullback]—we're starting to see the global slowdown being reflected in the earnings reports," said Brian Gendreau, market strategist at Cetera Financial. "We're also coming off some strong gains all year—especially considering all the headwinds." (Read More: Earnings 'Stink' So Far, But Stock Selloff May Be Limited)
General Electric eported earnings that matched expectations, but revenue fell below estimates, pushing shares of the conglomerate lower. (GE is the minority shareholder of NBCUniversal.)
And McDonald's lso slipped after the fast-food chain reported earnings that missed estimates, though revenues were actually higher. Rivals Burger King and Jack in the Box also slumped.
Google continued to trade lower a day after the search-engine giant prematurely reported its earnings, which widely missed analysts' expectations. At least 11 brokerages slashed their price targets on the tech company. (Read More: Miss Another Reason to Exit GOOG—Pro)
Apple tumbled more than 3 percent, falling a total of more than 12 percent from its all-time high of $705.07 hit on Sept. 21, the day the iPhone 5 was launched.
Microsoft declined after the company posted quarterly results that missed expectations. Barclays reduced its price target on the Dow component to $34 from $36.
Further bad news in the technology sector came from Sony, with the Japanese firm announcing plans to cut its global headcount by the end of March 2013.
Chipotle Mexican Grill nearly 15 percent after the fast-casual restaurant missed earnings expectations and handed in a downbeat forecast on growth. The company also said it sees potentially higher food costs in 2013.
Marvell Technology also declined after the chipmaker lowered its third-quarter sales forecast and warned that demand is being hurt by the weak global economy. The company's CFO Clyde Hosein also resigned.
Bucking the negative trend, Honeywell gained after the diversified manufacturer topped earnings estimates, but revenue fell slightly short of expectations.
And Capital One jumped after the credit-card provider topped profit and sales expectations and at least three brokerages lifted their price targets on the company.
On the economic front, existing home sales dipped in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.75 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors. (Read More: Does the Drop in Sales Mean a Housing Shortage Looms?)
European shares closed lower. German Chancellor Angela Merkel raised new hurdles to using the euro zone's bailout fund to inject capital directly into ailing banks from next year, dashing Spain's hopes of soon removing the cost from its national debt.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who received a euro zone pledge earlier this year of up to 100 billion euros to recapitalize the nation's banking sector, said he had still had not decided whether to request a sovereign bailout.
—By CNBC's JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC)
On Tap Next Week:
MONDAY: Final Presidential Debate; Earnings from Caterpillar, Freeport McMoran, Hasbro, Peabody Energy, Texas Instruments, Yahoo
TUESDAY: Richmond Fed manufacturing index, 2-yr note auction, FOMC meeting begins, Apple event; Earnings from DuPont, 3M, United Technologies, UPS, Coach, Xerox, Amgen, Facebook, Netflix, Gilead Sciences
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage apps, new home sales, FHFA home price index, oil inventories, 5-yr note auction, FOMC mtg announcement; Earnings from AT&T, Boeing, Bristol-Myers, Delta, Eli Lilly, Akamai, Symantec, Zynga
THURSDAY: Durable goods orders, jobless claims, Chicago Fed nat'l activity index, pending home sales, Kansas City Fed survey; Earnings from Altria, AstraZeneca, ConocoPhillips, P&G, Aetna, AutoNation, Credit Suisse, Dow Chemical, Pulte, Sprint, United Continental, Apple, Amazon.com, Coinstar
FRIDAY: GDP, consumer sentiment, Windows 8 released; Earnings from Comcast, Merck
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