The global market indices ended the trading week on a down note, with the exception of Hong Kong, which eked out a small gain in Friday’s session.
Spain’s stock market, in particular, had its worst fall in two years as worries about the country’s sovereign debt load deepened.
Those fears fueled a rise in U.S. treasury debt prices, sending yields lower, as investors sought the safety of government bonds. Bond yields fell to 1.46 percent for the benchmark 10-year notes and to 2.55 percent for the 30-year bond.
In the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.9 percent to 12,822.57, while the S&P Retail Index dipped 0.6 percent to 617.13.
Among the major decliners were Sears Holdings Corp., down 5.2 percent to $51.26, and Citi Trends, also dropping 5.2 percent to $15.50.
Earlier in the day, Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed down 1.4 percent to 8,669.87, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index inched up .4 percent to 19,640.80.
Europe’s stock markets were dragged south by worries over Spain and its debt burden.
The FTSE MIB in Milan led the decline, falling 4.4 percent to 13,067.22, followed by the CAC 40 in Paris, which was down 2.1 percent to 3,193.89.
The DAX in Frankfurt fell 1.9 percent to 6,630.02 while the while the FTSE 100 retreated 1.1 percent to 5,651.77.
Investor worries also weighed on retail and luxury stocks, which were mostly down. The day’s biggest fallers included Carrefour, which sank 2 percent to $17.13 and Hermès International, which was down 3.4 percent to $281.52.