In a volatile session on Friday, stocks were crushed into the close, setting up for a potential breakdown next week. Concerns about a resurgence in the coronavirus and a decline in the economy’s recovery along with technical factors like options expiration and index rebalancing sent stocks tumbling.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 208.64 points, or 0.8%, at 25,871.46, after gaining as much as 371 points earlier in the session. The S&P 500 traded 0.56% lower, after dropping 1.0% at one point, but quickly plummeted after the close. The Nasdaq Composite finished the session barely higher, also before selling off into the close.

All three major averages managed to finish positive for the week, however. The S&P 500 added 1.8% on the week, its fourth positive week in five. The 30-stock Dow climbed 1% this week, while the Nasdaq tested recent highs Friday before closing much lower, gaining 3.7% this week.

Approximately $1.8 trillion in S&P 500 options were set to expire Friday, according to Goldman Sachs, making this the third-biggest non-December expiration in history.

“Markets have become a battleground over the past week between the bulls and the bears,” Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities Corporation, told MarketWatch.
With the coronavirus pandemic moving to the forefront in news lately, with a spike in cases in a number of states including Texas, Arizona, California, Florida, and Arkansas, Apple announced it would be closing newly reopened stores once again, spurring a drop in stocks, which have already been on edge for several days now.

“COVID cases have been spiking higher in certain US states …the issue is becoming too much for the market to ignore,” Vital Knowledge founder Adam Crisafulli said in a note Friday. “The problem has more to do with market expectations (way too complacent/calm) and psychology (with the consensus embracing the “V”-shaped narrative).”

Stocks benefiting from the economy reopening were also beaten down following Apple’s announcement. Nordstrom sank 6.3%, while Kohl’s dropped 4.7%. United Airlines fell 6.3% and Delta lost 4.1%.

Stock index ETFs are tumbled along with the underlying benchmarks. The SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA), SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), and Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) all finished the day in the red.

For more market trends, visit  ETF Trends.