U.S. stock futures were pointing to a sharp drop at Wednesday's open on Wall Street, which would add to Tuesday's plunge on the first day of the fourth quarter. The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 343 points or nearly 1.3% on Tuesday, as the weakest manufacturing reading in 10 years stoked worries over the U.S. economy. Tuesday's losses, which were the worst since Aug. 23, erased the Dow's entire third-quarter gains. However, the Dow still sits only about 3% below its July all-time highs.
Market odds on another quarter-point Federal Reserve interest rate cut next month to boost the economy moved up to nearly 64%. Whether those chances for a rate reduction go up or down could depend on two key reports this week on the labor market. The ADP's private-sector September jobs report on Wednesday showed a better-than-expected gain of 135,000 positions at U.S. companies. However, that number brought the monthly average for 2019 down to 145,000, compared to 214,000 for the same period last year. The other important jobs snapshot comes Friday with the government's September employment report.
There are concerns that China could take a harder line on the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong now that Beijing's 70th anniversary celebrations of the ruling communist government are over. The demonstrations in the Chinese territory began in June and have been getting increasingly violent. Hong Kong has proved to be another flashpoint for China as its trade negotiators head to Washington next week to resume high-level talks aimed at ending the tariff war between the world's two biggest economies.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is pushing back on House Democrats' attempt to take depositions from State Department officials as part of the impeachment inquiry. Pompeo, who was on the call in which President Donald Trump asked Ukraine's leader to investigate Democratic president frontrunner Joe Biden, tweeted he's "concerned with aspects" of House requests "that can be understood only as an attempt to intimidate, bully" agency officials.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren — who has vowed to break up Google-parent Alphabet, Facebook and Amazon if she were to become president — is actually gaining support in the tech community. Democratic donors in Silicon Valley, where many of these big technology companies are located, are looking to support Warren's 2020 campaign.
However, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg is certainly not a Warren fan to break up Big Tech. In leaked audio from a July meeting, Zuckerberg said if Warren were elected president he "would bet" on a legal challenge to any break-up plan, and he added that he "would bet" on winning. Warren responded in a tweet Tuesday, saying companies like Facebook engage in "anticompetitive practices."