Stock futures slump as Trump and Biden clash in messy presidential debate


Futures point to a negative open

U.S. stock futures were indicated sharply lower on Wednesday morning after the first debate pitting Republican President Donald Trump against Democratic rival Joe Biden was market by personal insults and frequent interruptions by both candidates.

After 90 minutes of countless interruptions and ruthless personal attacks from both Trump and Biden on Tuesday night, little clarity emerged on matters of policy.

The topics moderator Chris Wallace discussed with the candidates are Trump and Biden’s records, the coronavirus pandemic, the economy, the Supreme Court, the integrity of the election, violence in U.S. cities and race.

By 5:20 a.m. ET, futures tied to the blue-chip Dow shed 262 points, or 0.96% to 27,146. The S&P 500 futures were down 30.32 points, or 0.91% to 3,303.38 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 124 points, or 1.09% to 11,213.75.

Disney to lay off 28,000 workers

Disney (NYSE: DIS) is laying off 28,000 employees across its parks, experiences and products division due to the coronavirus pandemic. The entertainment giant announced the decision on Tuesday, adding that 67% of the workers laid off will be part-time workers.

Disney cited uncertainty about how long the coronavirus pandemic would last and the parks’ limited visitor capacity as reasons for the layoffs.

“As difficult as this decision is today, we believe that the steps we are taking will enable us to emerge a more effective and efficient operation when we return to normal,” said Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.

Disney reported a loss of $4.7 billion in the quarter ended June 27, with revenues for its parks, experiences and products segment slumping 85% compared to the same quarter a year ago.

Shares of Disney were indicated 1.74% to $123.22 each in the pre-market trading session Wednesday.

Crude futures fall ahead of EIA report

Crude futures were also under pressure early Wednesday as surging cases of coronavirus fueled concern about limited air travel and more restrictions on movement. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will publish its weekly crude inventories data later today.

On Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute said 831,000 barrels in the week ending Sept. 25 to about 494.4 million barrels. Expectations were for an increase of 1.6 million barrels.

against expectations of a 1.335 million-barrel draw. EIA’s figures follow the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) report earlier in the week of a 2.970 million-barrel build.

By 5:20 a.m. ET, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures dropped 42 cents, or 1.07% to $38.87 a barrel. International Brent crude futures were down 54 cents, or 1.3% to $41.02 per barrel.