Stocks fell sharply Wednesday, contributing to Wall Street's poor start to the final quarter of 2019 as investors struggle with fears of an economic downturn.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average down 494.42 points, or 1.9% to close at 26,078.68. Dow also broke below its 50-day and 100-day moving averages, two technical levels seen by traders. The S&P 500 lost 1.8% to 2,887.61 to fall below the 100-day moving average as the technology sector fell 2%. All 11 S&P 500 sectors were down, and 10 of them slipped at least 1.2%.
Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.6% to 7,785.25 as high-capacity technology companies followed the broader market lower. Amazon, Apple and Alphabet all fell at least 1.3%. Microsoft shares also fell 1.8%.
"It seems that the time we have been praying and our inability to actually get a trade deal now is actually affecting growth," said Yousef Abbasi, director of US institutional shares at INTL FCStone. "The mentality shifts from & # 39; we get a trade and how does that affect growth & # 39; to & # 39; how much longer do we have to wait? & # 39;"
"Now it seems that people are gravitating towards the idea that you have mainly paralyzed the corporate community from investing," Abbasi said.
Stocks were down the second day of the fourth quarter after the Institute for Supply Management said that US manufacturing activity fell last month to its lowest level in more than 10 years.  The weak data sent the big indexes together on Tuesday, the first day of the fourth quarter. The Dow fell more than 300 points while the S&P 500 slipped 1.2%, their biggest one-day fall since August 23. These losses were enough to wipe out the Dow and S&P 500 gains for the entire third quarter. Both indices rose 1.2% in the previous quarter.
"The market may be a little ahead of itself," said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research. "We need to be reminded that industry makes up about 10% of our economy, while services make up about 90%. The service side is strong in expansive mode."
, "Stovall added.
Nicholas Colas, co-founder of DataTrek Research, said the market will "want to see real progress" from the upcoming US-China trade talks following the disappointing data. "Markets will be looking for positive comments from both sides to enter into this meeting and concrete steps toward an agreement immediately after," he said in a note.
Chinese and American officials are scheduled to meet in Washington next week. Both sides have been in a trade war since last year, which has plagued investor sentiment and expectations of economic growth.
—CNBC's Silvia Amaro contributed to this report.