NEW YORK — Caution reasserted itself on Wall Street Friday, sending stocks sharply lower but not enough to prevent the market from notching its third straight weekly advance.
Major market indexes fell about 2 percent, but most analysts agreed the pullback was a natural response to the market’s powerful climb this month.
Financial and technology stocks led the retreat, and energy shares fell along with the price of oil.
A dip in personal incomes and a slowdown in personal spending gave investors reason to cash in some of their winnings after the Dow Jones industrial average surged 21 percent over just 13 days.
Analysts said the sentiment in the market was still more upbeat than it was a month ago, but the economic numbers were a reminder that the economy and the banking system remain troubled.
“There is still a definite caution in the air,” said Doreen Mogavero, president of Mogavero, Lee & Co., a New York floor brokerage, adding that she’s noted some hesitance among her clients.
“I don’t think people are completely invested yet,” she added.
On Friday, the Commerce Department said personal spending rose 0.2 percent in February, as expected, down from a 1 percent gain in January. Personal incomes fell 0.2 percent.
Disappointing announcements sapped strength from technology companies.
Tech stocks had surged Thursday and pushed the Nasdaq into positive territory for the year.
Internet powerhouse Google said it is laying off nearly 200 workers, and technology consulting and outsourcing firm Accenture lowered its forecast for the quarter and the year. Google fell $5.59 to $347.70.