Investing.com - U.S. stock futures pointed to a sharply lower open on Wednesday after weak manufacturing data stoked fears that the trade war with China is hobbling the world's largest economy, too.
The Dow futures contract was down 160 points, or 0.6% by 06:50 AM ET (10:50 GMT), the S&P 500 futures contract was down 17 points, or 0.6%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures contract dropped 0.7%.
The S&P 500 and Dow suffered their worst falls in over a month on Tuesday after data showed U.S. factory activity shrank in September to its weakest in over a decade, indicating that the U.S. is not immune to the manufacturing slowdown affecting China and Europe.
The closely watched government nonfarm payrolls report on Friday is expected to shed further light on U.S. economic strength.
"This is a bad number, fitting in with the world’s manufacturing recession," Jim Bianco, head of Bianco Research in Chicago, said of the ISM report. "I think the market is right to be concerned, but we will have to see whether other manufacturing numbers in the U.S. bear that out, not the least of which being the manufacturing payroll numbers on Friday."
Investors are looking ahead to the ADP nonfarm payrolls report at 8:15 AM ET (1215 GMT) for an indication on how the slowdown is hitting private sector hiring.
In earnings news, Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY) is set to report earnings after markets close, while home builder Lennar (NYSE:LEN) beat expectations with its quarterly update.
Outside of equities, the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against six rival currencies, climbed 0.2% to 98.99, while the yield on the 10-year Treasury was last trading at 1.6%.
In commodities, gold futures were up $1.55, or 0.3%, at $1,490.55 a troy ounce, while crude oil traded up 0.1% to $53.72 a barrel.
--Reuters contributed to this report