Market Extra: The stock market is turning into a sloppy, ugly mess — and it could get worse

It is getting dicey out there for Wall Street investors.

Stocks have been lurching lower lately. It hasn’t been the sort of dizzying tumble for equities that would elicit an instant spike in fear. What it has been, however, is the kind of plodding descent that has the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.25% more than 300 points lower since the end of July.

In fact, the Dow and the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.31% are on the verge of tallying three straight months of declines, with October shaping up to be the ugliest monthly fall since January — the month after the Federal Reserve raised rates for the first time in a decade.

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