US stock futures fell early Wednesday noon following a mixed session in which traders weighed a recent uptick in coronavirus infections and latest corporate earnings.
As of 14:16 IST, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 467 points or 1.71 percent lower at 26,898, NASDAQ 100 futures lost 107.38 points or 0.93 percent at 11,480.62, and S&P 500 Futures fell 42.48 points or 1.26 percent at 3,340.62.
The daily coronavirus cases in the US have risen by a record average of 69,967 over the past week, according to John Hopkins University.
The United States, Russia, France and others have seen record numbers of infections in recent days, with European governments introducing new curbs that investors fear could maul the already fragile recoveries. The state of Illinois has ordered Chicago to shut down indoor dining.
On the other hand, in the corporate earnings scenario, Microsoft reported better than expected earnings and revenue for the September-ended quarter. However, its stock dipped 0.3 percent in after-hours trading.
Apple Inc, Amazon.com, and Google-parent Alphabet report later this week, closely watched because they have been among the few winners from the pandemic.
Adding to the mood of uncertainty is the Nov. 3 US presidential election.
Former Vice President Joe Biden has enjoyed a consistent lead over President Donald Trump, prompting investors to cautiously bet on his victory and possibly a “blue wave” outcome, where Democrats take back the Senate as well.
That is a product of wariness that the election outcome itself could be contested, some market players say. An unclear result could leave expectations of a US fiscal stimulus package to counter the coronavirus pandemic in limbo.
“It is not yet clear that we will have a winner at this time (next week) as many State Secretaries and voting commissions are hedging their bets that they will indeed be able to project the winner by next Wednesday morning,” Deutsche Bank analysts wrote.
The uncertainty was apparent in currency markets, too: One-week implied volatility indicators for the euro and the yen rose to their highest in nearly seven months.
Against a basket of currencies, the dollar edged up 0.1 percent.
Note: This story has been updated to incorporate latest developments from wire agencies.