Stocks fall as Dow books biggest monthly drop since March as COVID cases rise

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Stocks pared losses but still closed lower on Friday to end an ugly week on a down note, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average booking its biggest monthly drop since March as investors reacted to rising COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and Europe. Nervousness ahead of Tuesday’s presidential election — and the potential for an unclear or contested outcome — was also seen contributing to increased volatility, analysts said, with all three major indexes seeing their biggest weekly declines since the worst of the pandemic-inspired selloff in March. The Dow fell around 157 points, or 0.6%, to end near 26,502, according to preliminary figures, while the S&P 500 lost around 40 points, or 1.2%, to finish near 3,270 and the Nasdaq Composite gave up around 274 points, or 2.4%, closing near 10,912. The S&P 500 ended the week down 5.6% and fell 2.8% for the month, while the Dow booked a 6.5% weekly fall and a 4.6% monthly drop. Friday’s decline saw the Nasdaq turn negative for the month, falling 2.3%. The index was down 5.5% for the week.
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