Stocks finished lower Friday amid signs of a patchy U.S. recovery and as global coronavirus infections have started surging again. Tech shares were the leading decliners.
The S&P 500 ended down 1.12%, falling for a third day, and the Nasdaq was down 1.07%. Both indexes have declined for three straight weeks
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 244 points, or 0.88%, to 27,657 - the blue-chip index sank as much as 414 points, or 1.5%, during the session.
Wall Street fell during Friday's so-called quadruple witching, a day each quarter when volatility increases as options and futures on indexes and equities expire.
Stocks have traded lower since the Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it would keep interest rates at nearly zero for years to support a still reeling U.S. economy.
Pressure on stocks also came from the increasingly long odds that Congress will come through with more aid for the U.S. economy and for unemployed workers. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell emphasized the need for more fiscal stimulus on Wednesday.
"The equity market's recent volatility reflects uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, the presidential election and fiscal policy," said Thomas Mantione, a managing director at UBS Private Wealth Management.
"The acceleration of digital, virtual and e-commerce trends has caused valuations in the tech sector to expand. But as we've seen, the tech sector is not immune from the volatility that could be caused by the lack of fiscal policy response to Covid-19 and uncertainty surrounding the 2020 election."
President Donald Trump will order TikTok downloads blocked this weekend, the Commerce Department said, casting doubt on any plans to sell the video-sharing app's U.S. assets to an American buyer.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said downloads of WeChat, the popular Chinese-language messaging app owned by Tencent Holdings, also will be blocked Sunday, after both companies were named in Trump's executive order in August.
Oracle has been the recent frontrunner in a deal to keep TikTok operating in its second-largest market. The software company confirmed plans earlier this week to be a "trusted technology partner" to ByteDance, TikTok's China-based owner, in a complicated proposal put to the U.S. Treasury Department. Oracle fell 0.7%.
Meanwhile, the number of confirmed global cases of the coronavirus has risen above 30.3 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, and deaths have increased to 948,147. The U.S. neared 200,000 deaths from the virus.
Cases of the virus in England and France have seen a noticeable uptick. France Health Minister Olivier Veran warned the disease was "again very active" in the country.