Stocks had their worst week since March, when the market tumbled under the first wave of coronavirus infections and lockdowns — and one of their worst weeks of the year as a whole.
All three major indexes also recorded the second straight month of losses.
The Dow closed down 0.6%, or 158 points, on Friday. It was also its worst month of the year since March.
The S&P ended the day 1.2% lower.
The Nasdaq finished down 2.5% on Friday, for a drop of 5.5% on the week.
The week’s economic data painted a more positive picture — but the data is backward-looking and therefore doesn’t reflect the resurgence of the virus and associated worries.
For example, the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment survey for October came in just above expectations on Friday.
The picture remains muddled for investors.
On the one hand, the economy is on its path to recovery, even though it might be a longer road ahead than some are willing to admit. At the same time, economists and central bankers, have called for more stimulus from Washington to keep this rebound going. Until the election is over and a winner is determined, there won’t be any movement on the stimulus front.
The Federal Reserve announced it will lower the minimum loan size under its Main Street Lending Facility, which will make the funds more accessible to small businesses.
All of this leaves investors with a lot of uncertainty, which is just what the market hates.