• The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 546.8 points or 1.59%.
  • The S&P 500 dropped 51.92 points or 1.19%.
  • The Nasdaq Composite sank63.86 points, or 0.44%.

On the last day of the third quarter, Wall Street ended with a thud with the S&P 500 posting its worst month since the global pandemic began. The higher contagious delta variant of the virus along with inflationary pressures and the latest brinksmanship in the US congress has weighed on US stocks in the final part of the month. 

On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 546.8 points, or 1.59%, to 33,843.92, the S&P 500 fell 51.92 points, or 1.19%, to 4,307.54 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 63.86 points, or 0.44%, to 14,448.58.

On the day, we had the initial jobless claims disappointing and unexpectedly, they edged higher for the third straight week.  US Initial Jobless Claims rose for a third straight week to 362,000 for the period ending Sept. 25. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 335,000 jobless applications for the latest week.

In politics, the US Senate and House approved a stopgap spending bill. There was a brief market uptick, however, stocks resumed their decline.

  •  The US Senate has enough votes to approve a temporary govt funding bill

The stopgap measure, known as a continuing resolution, was expected to pass the Senate with bipartisan support. This follows Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announcement on Wednesday night that a deal had been on the funding measure after an earlier bill, which included a provision to suspend the debt limit through December 2022, was blocked by Republican senators this week.

Quartly performances

Meanwhile, all three major US stock indexes had their worst quarterly performance since the start of 2020 and struggles of the COVID-19 pandemic. The S&P did manage a modest gain but the July-to-September period, while the Nasdaq and Dow suffered quarterly losses. For September,  the S&P and the Nasdaq suffered their biggest percentage drops since March 2020, while the Dow saw its largest monthly percentage drop since October.