The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled to its lowest level since November 2020 on Friday, but narrowly missed ending more than 20% below its Jan. 4 closing record high.
A Dow close below 29,439.72 would have confirmed a bear market that began from that record, according to a widely used definition. The Dow fell 486.27 points, or 1.62%, to end at 29,590.41.
The Dow is the only one of the three main indexes not to have bear market status. The S&P 500 notched that grim milestone in June and the Nasdaq in March.
The renewed selling pressure in markets came in a week that saw the U.S. Federal Reserve raise interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point for a third straight time and a vow to keep it going until inflation is under control.
It has been a tumultuous year for Wall Street, plagued by worries about Russia's invasion of Ukraine, an energy crisis in Europe and the end of easy money policy globally.
The S&P 500 has lost 23% this year and the Nasdaq has shed 31%.
The last time the three indexes pulled back so sharply was in 2020 during the heights of the pandemic selloff.
Heightened fears of a U.S. economic downturn next year and its impact on corporate profits has prompted brokerages to downgrade their year-end targets for the S&P 500.