U.S. stocks traded mixed at midday Friday, with the Nasdaq Composite Index poised to wrap up the week with largest losses since May 2012.
The market continued to be under selling pressure amid global growth fears which had the S&P 500 suffer its worst decline since April in the prior session.
European shares took a pound Friday, with benchmark stock indices slumping more than 1 percent, as a string of poor German data released recently suggested the Europe's largest economy was losing momentum and raised concerns for the eurozone economy at large.
U.S. equity market opened lower, with the tech-rich Nasdaq underperforming the two other major indices, as semiconductor sector sank across the board after Microchip Technology lowered its expectations of net sales for its second quarter of the fiscal year 2015.
The chip maker also warned that another industry correction has begun and this correction will be seen more broadly across the industry in the near future. In response, the company's shares tumbled 11.31 percent to 40.39 dollars apiece in midday.
Market volatility picked up in October, which was historically the wildest month for stocks.
"A defensive stance is preferred until we see evidence of stabilization, and this October volatility doesn't look to be complete," Mark Newton, chief technical analyst at Greywolf Execution Partners Inc., commented Friday.
On the economic front, prices for U.S. imports fell 0.5 percent in September, led by falling fuel prices, the U.S. Labor Department reported Friday. The price index for U.S. exports also declined in September, falling 0.2 percent.
In midday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 44.25 points, or 0.27 percent, to 16,703.50. The S&P 500 edged up 0.36 point, or 0.02 percent, to 1,928.57. The Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 42. 70 points, or 0.98 percent, to 4,335.63.