U.S. stocks finished lower Tuesday, after moving between small losses and gains throughout the session, ahead of the first presidential debate before the November election.

How did stock indexes perform?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
-0.47%

fell 131.40 points, or 0.5%, to end at 27,452.66; while the S&P 500 index
SPX,
-0.48%

closed 16.13 points, or 0.5%, lower at 3,335.47, and Nasdaq Composite Index
COMP,
-0.29%

slipped
NQ00,
+0.66%

32.28 points, or 0.3%, finishing at 11,085.25. All three major equity indexes snapped three sessions of gains.

On Monday, the S&P 500 rose 53.14 points, or 1.6%, to end at 3,351.60. The Nasdaq climbed 203.96 points, or 1.9%, to close at 11,117.53. The Dow advanced 410.10 points, or 1.5%, finishing at 27,584.06, while booking its third session of gains in a row.

What drove the market?

After a positive start to kick off the final week of trading in September, major equity-indexes fell, with the global tally of COVID-19 deaths surpassing a milestone of one million.

Read: Coronavirus tally: Global deaths of COVID-19 top 1 million, 33.4 million cases and U.S. counts more than 250,000 deaths

The handling of the pandemic and plans for the U.S.’s economic recovery are topics on the roster for the presidential debate between Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden in Cleveland Tuesday evening. The U.S. has the highest case tally at 7.1 million, and highest death toll at 205,085 of any country.

Investors will be looking for further guidance on new policy measures from Trump and more signs that Biden is prepared to take the reins as commander-in-chief, should he prevail in the November contest.

Overall, the debate which starts at 9 p.m. ET could help to set the tone for markets for the next 35 days until the