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Volatile Stock Market Takes Another Precipitous Drop In Worst Week Since 2008

NEW YORK (AP/CBS SF) -- Stocks plunged again Friday after another wild day on Wall Street, extending a rout that delivered the market its worst week since October 2008 at the height of the financial crisis.

The market clawed back much of its earlier losses in the last 15 minutes of trading as some buyers emerged, keeping the indexes from another 1,000-point drop. Several times over the course of Friday trading, the Dow's losses topped 1,000 before finally closing about 350 lower.

Bay Area tech stocks looked to be taking a beating on Friday, but many recovered by the day's end.

While Apple's stock price suffered the most precipitous fall Friday morning -- at one point dropping 16 points to 257.44 -- it was only down .16 to close at 273.36. Other Silicon Valley companies including Facebook (+2.72 to 192.47), Twitter (+0.19 to 33.20) and Google's parent company Alphabet (+24.30 to 13339.25) even made minor gains while Netflix (-2.68  to 369.03) and Salesforce (-1.75 to 170.40) suffered small.

Oakland-based Clorox, which had previously bucked the plummeting market numbers with a steady rise all week, also fell Friday, slipping 9.33 points or 5.5%.

The market's losses moderated somewhat after the Federal Reserve released a statement saying it stood ready to help the economy if needed. Investors increasingly expect the Fed to cut rates at its next policy meeting in mid-March.

Global financial markets have been rattled by the virus outbreak that has been shutting down industrial centers, emptying shops and severely crimping travel all over the world. More companies are warning investors that their finances will take a hit because of disruptions to supply chains and sales. Governments are taking increasingly drastic measures as they scramble to contain the virus.

The rout has knocked every major index into what market watchers call a "correction," or a fall of 10% or more from a peak. The last time that occurred was in late 2018, as a tariff war with China was escalating. Market watchers have said for months that stocks were overpriced and long overdue for another pullback.

Bond prices soared again as investors sought safety and became more pessimistic about the economy's prospects. That pushed yields to more record lows. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell sharply, to 1.14% from 1.30% late Thursday. That's a record low, according to TradeWeb. That yield is a benchmark for home mortgages and many other kinds of loans.

Crude oil prices sank 4.9% over worries that global travel and shipping will be severely crimped and hurt demand for energy. The price of benchmark U.S. crude has now fallen 15% this week.

"All this says to us is that there are still a lot of worries in the market," said Gene Goldman, chief investment officer at Cetera Financial Group. "We need the Fed to come out and say basically guys, we got your back."

Traders have been growing more certain that the Federal Reserve will be forced to cut interest rates to protect the economy, and soon. Goldman said the Fed's current lack of action amounts to a tightening of rates compared with other nations and their actions to offset the impact of the coronavirus.

© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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