Oct. 2 (UPI) -- U.S. stock markets fell for the second consecutive day on Wednesday, continuing a poor start to the fourth quarter.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 494 points, or 1.86 percent, at the end of trading, while the S&P 500 fell 1.79 percent and the Nasdaq Composite slid 1.56 percent.
All 11 S&P sectors were down Wednesday, with technology falling 2 percent and 10 others falling at least 1.2 percent.
The Nasdaq also was dragged down by tech performance as Microsoft shares slipped 1.8 percent and Amazon, Apple and Alphabet all declined by at least 1.3 percent.
At its lowest point, the Dow was down nearly 600 points, falling below 26,000 for the first time since September. All three indexes experienced their worst single-day drops since Aug. 23.
Wednesday's decline came after a report by the Institute for Supply Management said Tuesday that U.S. manufacturing activity fell to its lowest level in more than a decade, sending the Dow falling more than 300 points, while the S&P 500 dropped 1.2 percent.
President Donald Trump blamed the market decline on impeachment proceedings in a Tweet on Wednesday morning.
The impeachment inquiry could play into investors' concerns about ongoing trade negotiations with China, while other international risks such as the status of Britain's plans to exit the European Union also increase investor anxiety.
DataTrek Research co-founder Nicholas Colas said the market will want to see "real progress" from upcoming U.S.-China trade talks, which have had significant sway on the indexes in the past.
"Markets will be looking for positive commentary from both sides going into this meeting and tangible steps to an agreement immediately after," he said.