U.S. stocks tumbled in choppy trading on Friday despite generally positive economic data, but main indices finished the month on a strong note.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 208.96 points, or 1.36 percent, to 15,115.57 points. The S&P 500 sank 23.67 points, or 1. 43 percent, to 1,630.74 points. The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 35. 39 points, or 1.01 percent, to 3,455.91 points.
The market dropped for a second straight week, with the Dow falling 1.23 percent and the S&P dipping 1.14 percent while the Nasdaq lost 0.09 percent.
However, the market reversed the "sell in May and go away" pattern seen over the past three years. For the month of May, both the Dow and the S&P 500 were up about 2 percent, while the Nasdaq rose nearly 4 percent.
The stock market opened lower on weaker consumer spending. U.S. personal income decreased less than 0.1 percent in April while personal consumption expenditures decreased 0.2 percent, the Commerce Department said Friday. As consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of the U.S. economic activity, a soft spending in April would affect the U.S. gross domestic product in the second quarter.
However, the market regained momentum and traded into positive territory soon after the University of Michigan released its final reading of U.S. consumer sentiment survey for May, with consumer confidence surging to a six-year high of 84.5.
Meanwhile, business activity in the U.S. Midwest jumped to 58.7 in May, the highest since March 2012, according to the Institute for Supply Management-Chicago. The index was sharply higher than market consensus.
Nevertheless, Wall Street accelerated its loss in the final trading hour as investors chose to sell off amid concerns that there would be a correction ahead, since June is considered as one of the worst months on average for stocks in history.
Elsewhere, eurozone unemployment rate edged up to a new high of 12.2 percent in April from 12.1 percent in March, said Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, on Friday.
Investors are also keeping an eye on the U.S. Labor Department' s employment situation survey for May due out next week. U.S. unemployment rate inched down to 7.5 percent in April from 7.6 percent in March.
In other markets, oil prices dropped Friday, weighed down by falling U.S. personal expenditure as well as high inventory.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said the oil ministers reached quick agreement Friday on keeping its official output targets of 30 million barrels a day. But traders felt OPEC should cut output as the oil supplies of the world are abundant.
Light, sweet crude for July delivery lost 1.64 dollars, or 1.75 percent, to settle at 91.97 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent for July delivery went down 1.8 dollars, or 1.76 percent, to close at 100.39 dollars a barrel.
The U.S. dollar rallied against the euro as eurozone unemployment rate edged up to a new record high. In late New York trading, the euro fell to 1.2980 dollars from 1.3045 of the previous session and the British pound decreased to 1.5182 dollars from 1.5219. The Australian dollar slipped to 0.9533 dollars from 0.9669.
The dollar bought 100.67 Japanese yen, lower than 100.95 yen of the previous session. It edged up to 0.9599 Swiss francs from 0. 9536 and rose to 1.0367 Canadian dollars from 1.0301 of the previous trading day.