Growing uncertainty over the outcome of next week's presidential election fed volatility on Wall Street over the past five days.
The S&P 500 slid 1.94% over the past five days, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.50%, and the Nasdaq dropped 2.77%. The Volatility Index spiked 35%.
The S&P 500 sold off for its ninth day in a row on Friday, the longest losing streak since 1980, as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump ticked up in the polls. A Trump presidency grew slightly more likely after the FBI disclosed that it was looking into more emails tied to its previously-settled investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Wall Street has so far reacted positively to any news of a likely Clinton win and negatively to higher chances of a Trump win.
"Election-related uncertainty is high," Terry Sandven of U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Kanas City told TheStreet. "A divided Congress presents the highest level of certainty, a neutral-to-positive outcome for equities. Conversely, a democratic or republication sweep presents a heightened level of uncertainty and a likely market sell-off as concerns about drug pricing, energy policy, financial regulation, infrastructure spending, possible trade wars, and the like, weigh on investor sentiment."
Trump's bump in the polls slowly eroded as the week wore on. Current polls indicate Clinton has a slight advantage in battleground states and a wider path to winning the Electoral College over Trump. At least 33 million votes have already been cast in early voting in 37 states, around 25% of the expected total turnout. Early voting has so far favored Clinton. Voters will head to the polls next Tuesday, Nov. 8.