Investors are also digesting dire jobless claims data and awaiting another vote on the Senate's $2 trillion stimulus bill. The decline ends a three-day rebound for US equities, the first such streak of gains since mid-February.

Here's where the major US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET market open on Friday:

  • : 2,551.42, down 3%
  • : 21,850.55, down 3.1% (702 points)
  • : 7,587.42, down 2.7%

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Stocks have gained through much of the week on optimism for the Senate's $2 trillion stimulus bill. The legislation calls for direct payments of $1,200 to Americans, bolstered unemployment benefits, and hundreds of billions of dollars in loans for struggling businesses.

The bill passed unanimously in the Senate late Wednesday and is slated for a vote in the House later today.

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Brent crude oil traded roughly 6% lower Friday morning to $25.30 per barrel, tumbling further as the global price war rages on.

Gold fell less than 1%, holding on to gain made earlier in the week. The precious metal skyrocketed in Monday and Tuesday's sessions after Goldman Sachs recommended clients begin buying the safe haven amid growing market panic.

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