U.S. markets opened with losses Friday as the U.S. Department of Commerce said the U.S. trade deficit widened in December.
The trade gap grew from $47.1 billion in November to $48.8 billion in December. Moreover, it rose by $58 billion in 2011 from 2010 to a total of $558 billion for the year.
In midmorning trading on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average shed 115.61 points or 0.9 percent to 12,774.85. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 12.84 points or 0.95 percent to 1,339.11. The Nasdaq composite index dropped 28.17 points or 0.96 percent to 2,899.06.
The benchmark 10-year treasury note fell 1/32 to yield 2.78 percent.
The euro fell to $1.3177 from Thursday's $1.3286. Against the yen, the dollar fell to 77.65 yen from Thursday's 77.66 yen.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index dropped 0.61 percent, 55.07, to 8,947.17.