US stocks tumbled, accelerating their losses after a flurry of mixed indicators sparked volatile trade in the last session of the month.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 208.96 points (1.36 per cent) at 15,115.57.
The broad-based S&P 500 dived 23.67 (1.43 per cent) to 1,630.74, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite lost 35.38 (1.01 per cent) at 3,455.91.
The indices plunged more than 1.0 per cent in late trade as the "fear index" measuring market volatility finished at its highest level since mid-April.
The market was hammered by "a war between the differing readings on the US economic data," said Gregori Volokhine of Meeschaert New York.
The Commerce Department reported that consumer spending dropped by 0.2 per cent last month, the first monthly fall since May 2012 and a signal that growth slowed at the beginning of the second quarter.
Offsetting that was a jump in the Chicago area PMI index to 58.7, its highest since March 2012, and the University of Michigan consumer confidence barometer, which rose to a better-than-expected 83.7, the highest since July 2007.
Jon Ogg of 24/7 WallSt. said the Chicago PMI reading was not as strong as the headline number suggested, pointing to comments from those surveyed in the region.
"The commentary from the ISM Chicago appears to be far more cautious than the numbers might have led you to believe," Ogg said.
Among top-traded stocks, insurer AIG tanked 3.8 per cent, Amazon rose 0.9 per cent and Morgan Stanley edged up 0.3 per cent.
Facebook added to its 5.3 per cent gain Thursday, rising almost 3.0 per cent on the back of analyst upgrades.
A day after their bidding war for broadband carrier Clearwire heated up, Dish Networks fell 2.5 per cent while Sprint lost 0.5 per cent. Clearwire shares dropped 0.4 per cent.
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts soared 21.5 per cent to $17.32 after reporting a 37 per cent jump in fiscal first quarter net income and revenue up 11.2 per cent. The donuts chain also raised its forecast for the full year.
Monsanto shares plunged 4.3 per cent to $100.64 as the US agriculture giant faced a rising protest over its genetically engineered seeds after an unapproved modified wheat strain was found on an Oregon farm.
Computer chip maker Omnivision Technologies soared 19.2 per cent after it turned in a strong jump in profits for its fiscal fourth quarter, to $8.9 million from $2.7 million a year earlier, on a 54 per cent climb in revenues.
Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.16 per cent, its highest level since early April 2012, from 2.12 per cent late Thursday.
The 30-year yield rose to 3.31 per cent from 3.29 per cent. Bond prices move inversely to yields.
Keep reading - next article