U.S. stocks on Friday declined after the data released showed rising unemployment causing expectations of a recession.

The Nasdaq posted the highest decline while technology shares were the worst performers in a broad-based decline.

Nasdaq's decline followed Intel Corp's decline when it posted 8.1 percent loss amid concerns that businesses were unlikely to upgrade computer equipment in the face of an economic slowdown.

The Nasdaq composite index fell 98.03 points or 3.77 percent at 2,504.65.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 256.54 points or 1.96 percent at 12,800.18 while Standard & Poor's Index declined 36.53 points or 2.46 percent at 1,411.63.

Defensive sectors such as electric utilities, drug makers, food and other essentials to daily life were the major gainers in the market.

Coca-Cola Co made the major gains in the 30 share Dow increasing 0.2 percent to $61.85.

Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond Inc fell 4.4 percent to 26.19 making it the major loser in the retail sector.

Shares of Mercy's Inc were down as department store stocks declined posting 5 percent fall to $22.40, while Nordstrom Inc fell 6.3 percent at $31.50 and JC Penny Co Inc declined 5.5 percent at 37.64.

Power company FPL Group Inc gained 2.8 percent to $68.82 becoming the major gainer on the S&P while shares of Abbott Laboratories gained 0.6 percent to $55.79.