Major U.S. stock indexes closed lower on Wednesday, sliding in the final hour of trade, as market participants struggled to shake off worries about a lack of a coronavirus aid package and rising COVID-19 cases.

How did major benchmarks fare?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -1.92% tumbled 525.05 points, or 1.9%, to close at 26,763.13, while the S&P 500 SPX, -2.37%  lost 78.65 points, or 2.4%, ending at 3,236.92. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -3.01%  shed 330.65 points, or 3%, finishing at 10,632.99, after plunging as low as 3%.

That left the Dow 9.4% off its record close in February, the S&P 9.6% lower than its September all-time high and the Nasdaq 11.8% down from its September record, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

On Tuesday, the Dow rose 140.48 points, or 0.5%, to end at 27,288.18, while the S&P 500 finished 34.51 points higher, up 1.1%, at 3,315.57. The Nasdaq gained 184.84 points, or 1.71%, to close at 10,963.64.

What drove the market?

The losses took the S&P 500 within a whisker of a correction, defined as a 10% pullback from a recent peak.

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