Stocks dropped sharply, pointing to another volatile day on Wall Street as investors nervously eyed elevated coronavirus case counts in the U.S. and Europe, weighed outcomes of Election Day next week and contemplated when another round of fiscal stimulus out of Washington might get passed.
The drop in domestic equities came alongside a plunge in European stocks, with the STOXX 600 selling off and hitting the lowest level since May. Concerns of even more restrictions across the region weighed on global risk assets, with French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday imposing a new national lockdown, effective Friday, as cases in the region jump. Germany also announced a one-month partial lockdown earlier in the day, which will span all of November.
In the U.S., hospitalizations related to COVID-19 have risen by at least 10% over the past week across 32 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., according to data compiled by Bloomberg.