Sept. 29 (UPI) — U.S. markets fell for the first time in three sessions on Tuesday amid increased concern among investors over the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 116.1 points, or 0.42%, while the S&P 500 dropped 0.48% and the Nasdaq Composite closed the day down 0.29% as stocks that would benefit from lifting restrictions related to the pandemic suffered.
Airline stocks led the decline as JetBlue fell 4.44%, American dropped 4%, United declined 3.98% and Southwest slid 1.65%.
The United States added 33,000 COVID-19 cases and about 300 deaths on Monday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University on Tuesday.
Overall the United States has reported 7.15 million cases and 205,200 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Stocks hit their lows after New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio said the city’s daily positive rate for COVID-19 tests rose above 3% for the first time in months as schools reopened Tuesday.
Markets also braced for potential fallout from the first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday.
“Everyone knows what they’re going to get with Trump, for better or worse,” Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group, told CNBC. “The question then is what will Biden deliver. If Biden doesn’t kick any balls in his own net then the market will take that as a win for him.”
Markets had rallied in recent days after a tumultuous September as the Dow climbed 410 points to start the week on Monday.