Stocks fell sharply on Monday as coronavirus infections jumped and negotiations for a fiscal stimulus package before the election stalled once again.
The Dow Jones Industrials plunged 649.86 points, or 2.3%, to 27,685.71, its biggest one-day drop since Sept. 3.
The S&P 500 moved south 64.42 points, or 1.9%, to 3,400.97.
The NASDAQ plummeted 189.35 points, or 1.6%, to 11,358.94.
This week marks the last week of October and the final trading period before Nov. 3. Major averages are on track for modest gains for the month, with the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ both rising more than 3% so far. The 30-stock Dow is up about 2% this month.
The decline came amid a record surge in new coronavirus cases in the U.S. The country saw more than 83,000 new infections on both Friday and Saturday after outbreaks in Sun Belt states, surpassing a previous record of roughly 77,300 cases set in July, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The data also showed the country has reported an average of 68,767 cases per day over the past seven days, a record.
Stocks with the most to lose from rising cases and a stalled stimulus plan led the decline Monday. Royal Caribbean shares fell 9.7% and were the biggest laggards in the S&P 500. Delta fell 6.1%. Norwegian Cruise Line closed 8.5% lower and United Airlines slid 7%. American Airlines pulled back by 6.4%.
SAP, one of the biggest software companies in Europe, saw its shares plunge more than 20% after warning that businesses are holding back from spending; it also cut its earnings and revenue estimates for 2020. Oracle shook off 4% and Microsoft lost 2.8%.
Former Vice President Joe Biden maintains a sizable lead over President Donald Trump in national polls, although the gap has narrowed slightly as of late.
Prices for the 10-Year Treasury gained, lowering yields to 0.80% from Friday’s 0.84%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices docked $1.32 at $38.53 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices brightened $2.20 to $1,907.40