Fears of growing hostilities between Washington and Moscow over Ukraine have caused financial markets throughout the world to plummet.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.8 percent, the S&P 500 fell more than 2%, and the Nasdaq fell over 3% in New York.
The drops occurred as US Vice President Joe Biden accused Russia of hunting for pretexts to invade, which he said might happen in days.
Losses in Asia lessened on Friday, with benchmark indices in Japan and Hong Kong falling by approximately 0.3 percent.
“There’s a lot of anxiety out there, and nothing’s been addressed between Russia and Ukraine as we approach the weekend,” Michael James, managing director of stock trading at Wedbush Securities, said.
“The persistent weakness, particularly in growth names, is suggestive of rising concern, with selling swamping buyers in almost every company.”
On Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden stated that military action may begin immediately.
The charges were labeled “baseless” by Russia, who accused the US of inflaming tensions.
However, investor concerns were heightened as Ukrainian soldiers and Russian-backed rebels exchanged fire in eastern Ukraine, causing the sell-off to escalate in late afternoon trade.
The drops, which impacted almost every sector of the S&P 500 and pushed the Dow to its largest daily percentage drop since November 30, were driven by technology and communication companies.
Oil futures plummeted more than 2%, while US officials met with Saudi Arabia to discuss a “collaborative strategy” to controlling market pressures resulting from a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to the White House.
The consumer staples sector, which was boosted by Walmart, was one of the few exceptions to the reductions.
The discount retailer surged 4% after reporting excellent Christmas sales, and executives predicted that as consumer concerns about rising costs of living grow, more people will flock to it.
Meanwhile, other less risky assets, such as gold, have risen to an eight-month high.