Here's the stock market's big sell-off by the numbers

Trader bemoaning big losses

Trader bemoaning big losses

USA stocks fell sharply Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping by more than 650 points. The S&P 500 decreased 59.85 points, or 2.12 per cent, to 2,762.13, Xinhua news agency reported.

This week's market pullback has come even as US economic data continues to reflect strong growth. The VIX Volatility Index was higher at 17.24 for a gain of 3.77 points or 27.99%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Bund yields reached a fresh two-year high, while the euro and British pound weakened.

For the week, the Dow fell 4%, while the Nasdaq and S&P 500 each slipped by more than 3%.

The Dow fell 515 points, or 2 percent, to 25,675.

Optimism over forecasts has caught the attention of anxious investors, who hope that strong earnings can support lofty stock valuations and offset the concerns over rising bond yields and the pace of Federal Reserve rate hikes.

The stock market is much calmer these days, thanks to a strong economy, record corporate profits and the huge business tax cut enacted by President Trump and Republicans in Congress.

More: 401 (k) investors: Is a "melt-up" happening in the stock market?

Volume on US exchanges was 5.39 billion shares, compared to the 7.33 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

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MSCI's all-country world index of equity performance in 47 countries fell 1.07 pe rcent while its gauge of emerging market stocks lost 1.54 per cent.

Bond yields rose sharply after the government reported another gain in hiring last month as well as the fastest wage growth in eight years, stoking fears of inflation.

The down day came after the government reported that USA job growth surged in January and wages increased further, recording their largest annual gain in more than 8-1/2 years, bolstering expectations that inflation will push higher this year as the labor market hits full employment. Rising interest rates in general mean higher borrowing costs for companies.

The Fed also expected US inflation on a 12-month basis to "move up this year and to stabilize" around the central bank's 2 percent target over the medium term.

"What is good for the average American worker ends up being negative for stocks because it increases the odds of further rate hikes", Michael Antonelli, managing director of institutional sales trading at Robert W. Baird in Milwaukee.

Investors have recently grown concerned that a rapid rise in interest rates, exacerbated by higher inflation, could derail the market's otherwise steady upswing.

But worries about inflation grew when the report showed that average hourly wages grew 2.9 percent from a year ago - the largest increase since June 2009.

The Labor Department report also showed sustained low unemployment in January at 4.1 percent, and that employers added 200,000 jobs last month.

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