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.
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.
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.
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.
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.