Wall Street stocks fell Tuesday as a new poll suggested Republican candidate Donald Trump could win the presidency, an outcome that has stirred anxiety in financial markets.
The share price declines sent leading equity indices to their lowest level since just after Britain’s shock vote to exit the European Union in June.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.6 percent to 18,037.10.
The broad-based S&P 500 declined 0.7 percent to 2,111.72, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 0.7 percent to 5,153.58.
A Clinton presidency is generally preferred by markets over Trump, who is viewed as a wildcard, in part because of his harsh criticism of Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen and international trade pacts.
“The market is pricing in a somewhat reduced likelihood of a Clinton victory, but it’s not down all the way to pricing in a Trump victory,” said Karthik Sankaren, director global strategy of Eurasia Group.
The Federal Reserve opened a two-day monetary policy meeting Tuesday that is expected to keep interest rates low, but could signal plans to hike interest rates in December.
But analysts said the Fed was overshadowed by presidential election in market action.
The VIX volatility index, which is seen as a measure of the market’s fear, briefly climbed above 20 for the first time since the Brexit period this summer, but finished at 18.35, still sharply higher than Monday.
Pfizer dropped 2.0 percent as it reported a 38 percent drop in third quarter earnings to $1.3 billion and said it was cancelling development of anti-cholesterol drug which had been seen as a major growth prospect.
Apple shares fell for the fifth straight day, this time by 1.8 percent, after last week’s disappointing earnings report raised worries about the company’s outlook.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International surged 33.7 percent following a report in the Wall Street Journal that it is in advanced talks to sell a major stomach-drug business to Takeda Pharmaceutical of Japan for about $10 billion.
Women’s handbag maker Coach added 2.2 percent as earnings rose 21.8 percent in the quarter ending October 1 to $117.4 million.
L Brands, the parent company of Victoria’s Secret, sank 7.9 percent as it lowered is third-quarter profit forecast after October comparable sales came in one percent higher.