Dow Tumbles 900 Points as Virus Surges in U.S. and Europe

Stocks end sharply lower as a rising number of coronavirus infections across the globe sparks worries about the pandemic's impact on economic activity.
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Stocks finished sharply lower Wednesday as investors worried about the rising number of coronavirus infections across the globe and the pandemic's impact on economic activity.

In Europe, stocks dropped as Germany said it would impose the strictest lockdown measures since the peak of the pandemic and France is expected to announce new mitigation measures.

Positive earnings reports from Boeing  (BA) - Get Report and General Electric  (GE) - Get Report did little to prevent further stock market damage.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 943 points, or 3.43%, to 26,519, the S&P 500 declined 3.53% and the Nasdaq slumped 3.73%.

The S&P 500 finished down for a third straight session, and the Dow ended lower for a fourth.

Wall Street also was seeing increased volatility as the U.S. presidential election takes place in less than a week. Traders pretty much have given up hope that Congress will deliver a relief package to help the U.S. economy before Election Day.

WATCH: 2020 Election and Market Volatility - TheStreet's Experts Weigh In

As for the virus, confirmed cases worldwide surpassed 44.3 million and deaths from Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, were at almost 1.169 million, according to Johns Hopkins University. Deaths in the U.S. were more than 226,700. 

Hospitalizations from Covid-19 have risen at least 10% in the past week in 32 states and Washington, according to Bloomberg. More than 500,000 cases have been announced in the past week, according to The New York Times.

"In addition to worries about rising Covid-19 cases, the stock market is reacting to uncertainty surrounding the presidential election, where the polls between Trump and Biden have narrowed," said James McDonald, chief executive of Hercules Investments. 

This "[suggests] a closer election than previously anticipated, which raises fears of a contested election. Covid-19-driven lockdowns and a contested election would be a worrisome combination for markets."

Boeing  (BA) - Get Report reported a third-quarter adjusted loss of $1.39 a share, narrower than estimates of a loss of $2.35. Revenue of $14.14 billion for the plane maker came in below forecasts of $14.2 billion. Boeing fell 4.6%.

General Electric  (GE) - Get Report reported a surprise third-quarter profit and forecast solid industrial free cash flow for the final three months of the year. GE rose 4.5%.

United Parcel Service  (UPS) - Get Report delivered third-quarter earnings that surpassed analysts' forecasts as consumers and businesses continued to turn to Big Brown to get their packages from point A to point B amid the coronavirus pandemic. UPS slumped 8.7%.

Microsoft  (MSFT) - Get Report reported fiscal first-quarter earnings and sales that topped estimates but issued a lukewarm second-quarter revenue forecast for some divisions. Microsoft gave up 5%.

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