Dow falls more than 900 points amid fears of new COVID-19 restrictions

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Stocks took steep losses Wednesday amid growing fears that rising COVID-19 cases and the lack of a stimulus agreement between the Trump administration and congressional Democrats will force more U.S. cities to close or restrict businesses.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed with a loss of 943 points, falling 3.4 percent. The Nasdaq composite fell 3.7 percent and S&P 500 fell 3.5 percent.

Wednesday’s losses came as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations surge across much of the U.S., prompting some governments to reimpose restrictions meant to slow the spread. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) on Wednesday banned indoor dining and drinking in Chicago, following in the footsteps of European leaders who are also battling severe COVID-19 outbreaks across much of the continent. 

The third wave of coronavirus cases has threatened to detail the slowing recovery from the onset of the pandemic in March, during which more than 20 million people lost their jobs as thousands of businesses were forced to close. Roughly 11 million people have since returned to work, but the impact of rising coronavirus cases could threaten many of the businesses that brought them back.

Americans are also unlikely to receive further fiscal support and coronavirus relief from the federal government with Election Day less than one week away. Despite attempts to strike a bipartisan deal before Nov. 3, the White House and House Democrats have been unable to overcome divides over funding for state and local governments and coronavirus testing plans.

Updated at 4:07 p.m.


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