Sept. 8 (UPI) — The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell for the third consecutive day Wednesday amid ongoing concerns about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.
The blue-chip index dropped 68.93 points, or 0.2%, following a 260-point drop Tuesday and a 74-point decline Friday following a disappointing August jobs report. Markets were closed on Monday for Labor Day.
Other major markets also declined Wednesday, with the S&P 500 sliding 0.13% and the Nasdaq Composite dropping 0.57%.
Nancy Tengler, chief investment officer at Laffer Tengler Investments, told CNN Wednesday that markets are “getting close to a correction that may be meaningful” estimating a dip of about 10% to 15%.
“We’ve pretty much been rocket to the moon since March 2020,” Tengler said. “I think it would be good, it would recalibrate.”
The Dow has fallen 1% so far for the month of September, while the S&P 500 has dropped 0.4% and the Nasdaq has traded about flat.
Investors are particularly concerned about volatility in September, which has historically been one of the weaker trading months of the year.
“We see a bumpy September-October as the final stages of a mid-cycle transition play out,” Morgan Stanley chief cross-asset strategist Andrew Sheets said in a note. “The next two months carry an outsized risk to growth, policy and the legislative agenda.”
The Labor Department on Wednesday reported that job openings rose to a record of nearly 11 million in July as job openings outnumbered the unemployed by more than 2 million.
In its “Beige Book” report the Federal Reserve said U.S. businesses are experiencing rising inflation, exacerbated by a shortage of goods and that overall growth had “downshifted slightly to a moderate pace” due to increased health concerns surrounding the Delta variant surge.
“The deceleration in economic activity was largely attributable to a pullback in dining out, travel and tourism in most Districts, reflecting safety concerns due to the rise of the Delta variant, and, in a few cases, international travel restrictions,” the report stated.
Markets are also closely watching the Fed for the possibility it might pull back its coronavirus monetary stimulus.