[Updated at 7:51 p.m] From CNNMoney's Alexandra Twin: There are a few factors that could help stabilize the market Friday, said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon Partners, including news on Greece.
"The key is to get Germany's vote tomorrow in favor of the Greek aid package from the European Union," he said. "If that happens, that could help calm fears and stabilize the market."
Friday's big April jobs report could end up being a non-event, said Donald Selkin, chief market strategist at National Securities. "We've had good economic reports all week and it hasn't happened."
[Updated at 7:38 p.m] A round-up of some other business and economic news:
- Dollar soars as stocks hit free fall: The dollar skyrocketed to a 14-month high versus the euro Thursday after the blue-chip Dow stock index sank almost 1,000 points before rebounding.
- Treasurys soar on "panic buying spree:" The price to buy U.S. debt spiked quickly Thursday afternoon, as investors funneled money into lower-risk securities when the the stock market plunged nearly 1,000 points on fears about the European debt crisis.
- Oil prices plummet, following U.S. stocks: Oil prices fell sharply Thursday, a day after sinking to their lowest levels in over six weeks, as the U.S. dollar continued to strengthen and stocks plummeted, amid the fallout from Greece's debt crisis.
[Updated at 4:00 p.m.] Faulty Procter & Gamble stock quotes were major factors in the markets' huge afternoon drop, Nasdaq said in a statement.
"P&G stock trades on multiple exchanges on our primary exchange NYSE, today’s low trade was 56.00.," Proctor and Gamble Financial Communications Manager Jennifer Chelune said in a statement. "Any trade reported below that would have been on the Nasdaq and we’re looking into whether those were errors."
[Updated at 3:04 p.m.] The Dow Jones industrial average recovered ground after plummeting 997 points in volatile trading.
The Dow quickly dropped from down 450 points to nearly 1,000 points in only a matter of minutes.
By 3:05 p.m the average took a sharp turn upwards and recovered at a similar pace and was just below 400 points.
[Updated at 2:55 p.m.] The Dow Jones industrial average lost as much as 997 points in volatile trading. At 2:50 p.m it was down 600 points, or 5%. The S&P 500 index slipped 63 points, or 5.4%. The Nasdaq composite dropped 127 points, or 5.3%.
"It's a knee-jerk reaction to the continued problems in Europe, Greece in particular, possibly Portugal, Spain, the U.K.," said Ted Weisberg, NYSE Floor trader, Seaport Securities.
[Posted at 2:52 p.m.] The Dow was free-falling Thursday afternoon as investors continued to worry that Europe's debt problems will slow a bigger global economic recovery.
The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) lost as much as 570 points in volatile trading. At 2:45 p.m it was down 480 points, or 4.4% lower. The S&P 500 index (SPX) slipped 32 points, or 2.8%. The Nasdaq composite (COMP) dropped 78 points, or 3.3%.
At one point, over the span of about two minutes, the Dow went from down more than 400 points to down about 900 points.
Reporters on the trading floor reported that traders and specialists were staring at the board as the numbers continued to drop and are now hustling to figure out what is going on.