For investors, it was a time to take cover.
After five months of steady gains, stocks closed out their worst week in two years, with the Dow Jones industrial average dropping a total of 387 points over the final two trading sessions, to 16,493. The Standard & Poor's 500, which also lost ground Friday, fell 2.7 percent this week, the index's biggest loss since June 2012.
The Nasdaq fell 17 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,352.
Traders moved money into investments traditionally seen as having lower risk Friday, such as U.S. government bonds, gold and utility stocks. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.49 percent, as bond prices rose. The August gold contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed today at $1,293.60 an ounce, up $12.30.
Investors found little reason to move money into a stock market shadowed by geopolitical concerns in Israel and Ukraine and concerns about U.S. corporate earnings, particularly in the energy sector.
Stocks fell as the economy notched another solid month of job gains. Employers added 209,000 jobs in July, according to the U.S. Labor Department's latest employment report. That fell short of analyst forecasts of 225,000, but represents the sixth straight month that the economy has added at least 200,000 jobs.
The nation's unemployment rate edged up to 6.2 percent, from 6.1 percent, as more people looked for work last month.