NEW YORK, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks ended sharply lower on Friday, as investors became cautious amid comments by U.S. Federal Reserve officials and concerned that the central bank might hike interest rate this month.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 394.46 points, or 2.13 percent, to 18,085.45. The S&P 500 lost 53.49 points, or 2.45 percent, to 2,127.81. The Nasdaq Composite Index decreased 133.57 points, or 2.54 percent, to 5,125.91.
Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren said in a speech low interest rates are increasing the chance of overheating the U.S. economy, according to the CNBC. Gradually tightening monetary policy is appropriate to maintaining full employment, he added.
However, Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo, also a voting member of the Fed's policymaking committee, said he wanted to see more evidence of inflation before raising rates.
The current expectations for a September rate hike stand at 18 percent, according to CME's FedWatch tool.
"Oddly enough, the probabilities of an interest rate increase this year as interpreted through the Fed Funds futures market have increased somewhat over the last 36 hours or so," said Stephen Guilfoyle, chief market economist at Stuart Frankel & Co., on Friday.
Newly-released data, including nonfarm payrolls report last week, has been in focus recently, with investors pondering over when the central bank will decide to raise interest rates.
The Federal Open Market Committee, the Fed's monetary policy arm, is set to meet on Sept. 20-21.
The CBOE Volatility Index, often referred to as Wall Street's fear gauge, soared 39.98 percent to end at 17.50 on Friday. Enditem