The stock market nose-dived on Wednesday (October 28) as the number of new coronavirus cases continues to rise across the country. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the day down by more than 942 points, while the Nasdaq slipped by 429 points, and the S&P 500 lost nearly 120 points.
The 942 point drop by the Dow was the worst since June.
Investors are concerned that the uptick in new cases will cause more lockdowns and drag down economic growth.
"Investors' hopes that the Covid pandemic would not force further stringent mitigations measures and/or potential wholesale lockdowns that would push global economies back into 'low-consumption mode' appear to be coming under challenge," Yousef Abbasi, global market strategist at StoneX, told CNBC. "Avoiding these stringent measures has been a major tenant of the bullish thesis, particularly for those looking to value stocks and for a steeper yield curve."
The number of cases in the United States has soared over recent weeks. The seven-day-average of daily cases increased by 21% as the country saw a record number of new people test positive. Last Friday, there were 83,757 new cases, which set the single-day record. Hospitalizations are also increasing at an alarming rate, forcing local officials to reinstitute lockdown measures.
Authorities in Illinois ordered Chicago to reinstate a ban on indoor dining while officials in El Paso County, Texas, instituted a curfew as their hospitals neared 100% capacity.
Even countries in Europe that had early success controlling the spread of COVID-19 are now considering new lockdown measures to combat the second wave of the coronavirus.
"It's not just in the U.S., there have been a surge in cases all around the world with some rare exceptions," Randy Frederick, the vice president of trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab, told ABC News. "I think that's not something people anticipated, I think most people expected it to flatten out."
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