Stocks sink on dashed hopes for stimulus

Posted October 19, 2020 3:30 p.m. EDT

— Wall Street was on a wild ride Monday, with the Dow swinging wildly between highs and lows.

Stocks opened moderately higher on hopes that a stimulus deal might still get done ahead of the election, as well as buoyant economic news out of China. But it wasn't meant to last.

With less than an hour left in the trading day, all three major indexes were sharply in the red.

The Dow fell 1.4%, or about 400 points, while the S&P 500 was down 1.6%. The Nasdaq Composite also fell 1.6%.

Over the weekend, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said if a new stimulus deal should pass before the election, it would have to be agreed on by Tuesday at the latest, putting a 48-hour deadline on negotiations that have been going on for months.

Initially, the market seemed to think this Hail Mary would work out, but as of Monday afternoon, things looked different. Pelosi said in a call with her caucus that differences between the White House and House Democrats remain.

On top of all that, it's not just any Monday in October. It's the 33rd anniversary of the 1987 stock market crash, when the Dow and the S&P fell more than 20% in just one day.

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