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The major futures indexes are bouncing between gains and losses, now suggesting a decline of 0.1 percent when the Wall Street session begins.
The U.S. coronavirus outbreak crossed a grim milestone of over 3 million confirmed cases on Tuesday as more states reported record numbers of new infections, and Florida faced an impending shortage of intensive care unit hospital beds.
Authorities have reported alarming upswings of daily caseloads in roughly two dozen states over the past two weeks, a sign that efforts to control transmission of the novel coronavirus have failed in large swaths of the country.
The European Union’s executive arm said this year’s recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic will be deeper than forecast. It also said next year’s expected rebound could be weaker than expected.
In Europe, London's FTSE slipped 0.2 percent, Germany's DAX was lower by 0.7 percent and France's CAC declined 1 percent.
In Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei dropped 0.8 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.6 percent and China's Shanghai Composite added 1.7 percent.
Wall Street's recent string of big gains came to an abrupt stop Tuesday as stocks closed broadly lower following a pullback in markets overseas.
|I:DJI||DOW JONES AVERAGES||27173.96||+358.52||+1.34%|
|I:COMP||NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX||10913.561787||+241.30||+2.26%|
The S&P 500 fell 1.1 percent. The sell-off snapped the index's five-day winning streak.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.5 percent and the Nasdaq lost 0.9 percent.
Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 7 cents to $40.55 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It slipped a penny to settle at $40.62 per barrel after earlier flipping between losses and gains on Tuesday. Brent crude, the international standard, declined 1 cent to $43.07 per barrel.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.