US equity futures and most global markets dropped after an acrimonious and chaotic US presidential debate, which CNN’s Dana Bash described as a “shitshow” on air, and which did little to change voters minds but underscored the risk of a contested vote in November. Safe assets, such as the yen and dollar also rose as a continued rise in COVID-19 spooked some traders although strong factory surveys boosted China’s markets.
S&P 500 futures were last 0.6% lower, with Dow Jones and Nasdaq 100 futures down by as much as 1%. Asian trading had been choppy rather than outright weak but Europe sank 0.5% early on amid worries too over the steep rises in coronavirus infections across the region again, although a wave of buying managed to bring European markets back to even. Google dipped after a report that China was preparing to launch an antitrust probe into Alphabet’s Google.
While futures initially rose, they kneejerked lower after the end of the debate as Trump cast doubt on whether he would accept the election’s outcome if he lost.