(Reuters) – The benchmark S&P 500 was down 20% from its Jan. 4 intraday record peak on Friday as investors sold stocks amid worries about whether the Federal Reserve will be able to effectively combat inflation without causing a recession.

A close of more than 20% below the all-time closing high of Jan. 3 would confirm the index was in a bear market for the first time since the 2020 Wall Street plunge brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

At 12:09 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 328.41 points, or 1.05%, at 30,924.72, the S&P 500 was down 48.75 points, or 1.25%, at 3,852.04, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 184.47 points, or 1.62%, at 11,204.03.

(Reporting by Devik Jain in Bengaluru and Caroline Valetkevitch in New York; Editing by Maju Samuel)