After a brief upward turn, stocks took a tumble again Friday despite a jobs report by the Labor Department showing hiring had improved.
The news comes one day after the stock market plunged on fears the U.S. economy is headed for a double-dip recession.
The DowJones industial average has fallen more than 10 percent in the last weeks, down 4.3 percent on Thursday.
The Standard & Poor's fell 4.8 percent and the NASDAQ was down 5.1 percent.
"The U.S. economy is losing momentum. It shows up in the numbers. Investors see those numbers and they think, and I think for good reason, that it's time to move to the side lines," said Hugh Johnson, chairman of Hugh Johnson Advisors.
CBN News Financial Editor Drew Parkhill will offer his analysis of Friday's jobs report on the CBN News Channel's Midday News, Aug. 5.
The average 401k saw a loss of more than $11,000.
The stock market has now given back everything it gained this year -- even after Congress reached a deal to raise the debt ceiling.
"There isn't much Washington can do right now. And even if there was, there isn't much trust that they will do the right thing," explained Mohamed El-Erian, the chief executive officer of PIMCO.
Analysts say the midsummer sell-off is due to both slowing economy in U.S. and the growing debt crisis in Europe.
Overseas markets have tumbled over fears Italy and Spain might default, along with Greece.
The trend is continuing in Asia.
"Investors now believe there's a real chance, a real high probability that the economy will go into another recession," Johnson said.
Also, manufacturing fell last month, consumer spending dropped for the first time in almost a year, and unemployment numbers aren't improving.
"Even when there are jobs, they're willing to relocate to get those jobs. But they can't do that because they can't sell their homes," NYSE trader Doreen Mogavero said.
However, economists warn this is not the time to panic and there may still be some bright spots for consumers
Interest rates are falling, which could mean lower mortgage rates.
The price of oil has also fallen to its lowest level in six months, which means lower gas prices.
Both of those facts are good news for consumers.