U.S. futures continued their slump, hitting a three-week low as shares in Europe and crude oil tumbled after tighter covid restrictions in Germany and France sparked fear of even broader lockdowns. European stocks dropped to a 5 month low with all 20 sectors were in the red, while safe havens such as the dollar and Treasuries rose. Oil and gold slipped, while Bitcoin surged to the highest since January 2018. The VIX Index climbed to the highest level since June, rising as high as 37 overnight.
With hopes for a new fiscal stimulus deal before the election dead and buried and all attention shifting to covid, Wynn Resorts and United Airlines Holdings, companies sensitive to restrictions, dropped more than 1% in premarket trading. Energy firms such as Occidental Petroleum Corp fell 2.8% on concerns over fuel demand. Microsoft’s quarterly results smashed analysts targets, benefiting from a pandemic-driven shift to working from home and online learning. However, its shares fell 2% after rising 35% so far this year after its sales forecasts in key units missed estimates, overshadowing a revenue beat on cloud demand. The other Big Tech companies – Apple, Alphabet, Amazon and Facebook – which are due to report results on Thursday, fell between 0.9% and 1.6%. GE jumped in early trading after posting a surprise profit and positive industrial free cash flow.