Markets

5 things to know before the stock market opens Thursday

1. Dow to drop at open after two-day plunge of more than 800 points

Traders work at the New York Stock Exchange on October 2, 2019.
Johannes Eisele | AFP | Getty Images

U.S. stock futures were pointing to a drop for the Dow Jones Industrial Average at Thursday's open on Wall Street, after a terrible two-day start to the fourth quarter. The Dow dropped nearly 500 points on Wednesday, adding to Tuesday's 344-point decline. The Dow's two-day drop of more than 800 points or over 3% brings it back to levels seen in late August, which was the second down month of the year. Stocks had recovered in September and posted a 1.2% gain for the third quarter. Tuesday's decline alone wiped out that Q3 advance.

2. Health of the services economy is the key number to watch Thursday

Lead waitress Rhonda Abdullah serving the Taylor's, James and Voncia of Aurora their lunch at the Welton Street Cafe that will turn 20 this year, the last-standing soul food restaurant in the Five Points neighborhood in Denver, Colorado on June 7, 2019.
Joe Amon | MediaNews Group | Denver Post | Getty Images

Two days after issuing the worst reading on U.S. manufacturing in a decade, which slammed markets, the Institute for Supply Management is out with its nonmanufacturing report at 10 a.m. ET Thursday. The ISM measure of the U.S. services economy is expected to show continued expansion for last month, though at a slower pace than in August. The big economic number of the week comes Friday, when the government releases its September employment report. Economists expect it to show that nonfarm payrolls increased by 145,000 last month.

3. Trump plans to impose tariffs on EU goods, including aircraft and farm products

President Donald Trump speaks during news conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019, in Washington.
Evan Vucci | AP

With the China trade war still simmering and talks set to resume next week, the U.S. is now going after the European Union, announcing tariffs on EU goods including aircraft and agricultural products. The EU levies are set to go into effect two weeks from Friday. The move comes hours after the World Trade Organization backed a U.S. request to impose tariffs on $7.5 billion of European goods. The U.S. had lodged complaints, first in 2004, over what it called illegal subsidies for aircraft maker Airbus by several European governments.

4. House Oversight Committee plans to issue an impeachment inquiry subpoena

House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) addresses a National Press Club luncheon on his "committee's investigations into President Donald Trump and his administration," in Washington, August 7, 2019.
Mary F. Calvert | Reuters

Maryland Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings, head of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, plans to issue a subpoena on Friday to the White House for documents related to Ukraine as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. The planned subpoena comes on the heels of the issuance in the past week of other House demands for related documents to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and to Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

5. Hong Kong considers an emergency order to deal with increasing violent protests

Hong Kong police use pepper-spray as a fight breaks out between pro-democracy protesters who were carrying a mock coffin and another man early morning in the Wanchai district in Hong Kong on October 1, 2019, as intense protests were expected on the 70th anniversary of communist China's founding.
Nicolas Asfouri | AFP | Getty Images

Hong Kong officials are holding a special meeting on Friday to consider evoking a colonial-era emergency law that would, among other measures, ban pro-democracy protests from wearing masks to hide their identities. The meeting comes as the first victim of police gunfire in Hong Kong's monthslong demonstrations was charged Thursday, with rioting and attacking police. The protests in the Chinese territory have been a black eye for Beijing as it seeks to craft a trade deal with the U.S.

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