What happened

Shares of Appian Corp. (APPN -0.66%) fell today as investors sold off stocks across most industries, including tech stocks

Appian's share price fell by as much as 10.4% today and ended the trading day down by 9.5%.

So what

The market reacted negatively to news that coronavirus cases were surging in the U.S. and around the world. The U.S. reported more than 60,000 coronavirus cases on Sunday, and new COVID-19 restrictions have been put in place across France, Italy, and other parts of Europe as cases rise. The rise in cases has investors skittish today, and as a result, the S&P 500 dropped by 2%.  

A red line graph and bar chart.

Image source: Getty Images.

Some Appian investors may have had a stronger-than-usual reaction to today's news because the company will report its third-quarter earnings next week. Earnings season can be a particularly volatile time for stocks as some investors take the gains that they've earned and sell shares ahead of earnings reports.

Additionally, some investors may have reacted today to the fact that Congress has failed to come together and pass an additional stimulus package to help the unemployed in the U.S. Investors had been hoping that a potential deal would be reached before the upcoming presidential election, but those hopes are beginning to fade. 

Now what

Even with today's share price drop, Appian's stock is still up 85% year to date. But Appian could experience some additional price swings leading up to its Nov. 5 earnings report. That doesn't mean Appian won't make a good investment over the long term, but jittery investors are processing a lot of negative information about the economy and the pandemic, which could bring additional share price swings.