European, Asian and Western Markets Continue to Plummet

U.S. stocks traded sharply lower Friday ahead of a long weekend and the onslaught of earnings season, after a slew of disappointing U.S. data, a plunge in oil to below $30 a barrel, and a sell-off in Chinese stocks added to mounting concerns about slowing global growth.

Stocks came well off session lows in afternoon trade, with about an hour to the close. The Dow Jones industrial average traded about 400 points lower after earlier falling nearly 537 points.

"I think some of that was overselling. Still, (about) 400 points is pretty serious. I think going into the close I think things could possibly get better," said Douglas Cote, chief market strategist at Voya Investment Management. He's telling investors, "stick to global diversification and don't panic."

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