Wall Street drops at open as tech stocks slide, COVID cases jump

Dow falls about 700 points in early trading on Wednesday

Dow falls about 700 points in early trading on Wednesday

USA stocks tumbled Wednesday, with the Dow closing at lows last seen in late July, as coronavirus cases surged globally and investors anxious about the possibility of a contested US presidential election next week.

The spiraling pandemic and Washington's failure to reach a deal on new fiscal stimulus before the November 3 election drove all three stock indexes to close more than 3% lower in heavy trade.

New cases and hospitalizations set records in the U.S. Midwest, while concerns rose over a national lockdown in France and tighter restrictions in Germany.

"There is a big selloff in those big tech names because they didn't live up to the hype and people are really anxious about next week's election", said Kim Forrest, chief investment officer at Bokeh Capital Partners in Pittsburgh.

"The concept that.it's going to disappear is just a faulty assumption". The energy index fell as oil prices tumbled on fears of a deeper drop in fuel demand.

Democratic challenger Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump nationally by 10 percentage points, according to the Reuters/Ipsos poll but the competition is tighter in swing states, which will decide the victor.

Investors are anxious about various potential outcomes: that the election may be contested; a "blue wave" gives Biden a victory and his Democrats control of Congress; or that Trump gets re-elected, said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer at Independent Advisor Alliance in Charlotte, North Carolina. The U.S. economy could lose momentum just as prospects for more economic support from Washington have dwindled as Tuesday's Election Day nears."Many people had come to believe we were at least stable, and now we're having a second uptick, which throws potential GDP and everything else up in the air", said Randy Frederick, vice-president of trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab.

More than 80% of COVID patients vitamin D deficient
Researchers also say coronavirus patients with low vitamin D levels had more inflammatory biomarkers in their blood. It also impacts the immune system and has been linked to maintaining a healthy growth rate .

Stocks of companies that most need the virus to abate for their businesses to get back to normal were slumping to some of the sharpest losses.

The Big Tech companies - Apple, Alphabet, Amazon and Facebook - which are due to report results on Thursday, fell between 3 per cent and 4.7 per cent, weighing the most on the S&P 500. The VIX measures how much volatility investors expect from the S&P 500, and it climbed 20.8% Wednesday.As usual whenever volatility spikes, investors headed into the safety of USA government bonds.

Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 139.03 points, or 0.52%, to 26,658.98, the S&P 500 gained 39.11 points, or 1.20%, to 3,310.14 and the Nasdaq Composite added 180.73 points, or 1.64%, to 11,185.59.

U.S. -listed Chinese companies traded lower, with all of the top 10 stocks by weight in the S&P U.S. Listed China 50 index ending the day on a downbeat note.

Oct 28 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Dow hit their lowest levels since late-September on Wednesday as coronavirus cases surged globally and fears of a contested USA presidential election next week added to worries. Profit on average is expected to fall 14.8% from a year earlier.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 9.52-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 6.49-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P index recorded one new 52-week high and eight new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 15 new highs and 122 new lows.

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