Shares of Bear Stearns Cos. fell nearly 50 percent on Friday after the Federal Reserve, through JPMorgan Chase & Co, gave the struggling investment bank an emergency loan.

Bear Stearns finished the day down $27, or 47.37 percent to $30.

The New York-based firm - which denied rumors earlier this week that it was short on cash - has been suffering losses due to bad investments in the subprime mortgage market.

Bear Stearns said this morning that its cash position had significantly deteriorated in the past day.

We took this important step to restore confidence in us in the marketplace, strengthen our liquidity and allow us to continue normal operations, Alan Schwartz, Bear Stearns' chief executive, said in a statement.

The bank did not disclose the amount of the 28-day loan.

The report contributed to heavy losses in U.S stocks, which have been falling due to troubles in the credit and financial markets.

The Dow Jones industrial Average index, which tracks 30 of the most prominent companies in the U.S., fell 194.65 points to 11,951.09.

Schwartz also said in a conference call with analyst and investors today that the company will continue to pursue some alternatives to ensure the company can handle and protect its customers while maximizing shareholder value.