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Wall Street futures fall as rising virus cases spark lockdown fears

Kitco News

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures fell on Wednesday, as rising coronavirus cases globally triggered fears of lockdowns disrupting a nascent economic recovery, while concerns over a contested presidential election also weighed.

Wynn Resorts WYNN.O and United Airlines Holdings UAL.O, companies sensitive to restrictions, dropped more than 1% in premarket trading. Energy firms such as Occidental Petroleum Corp OXY.N fell 2.8% on concerns over fuel demand. [O/R]

New cases and hospitalizations set records in the U.S. Midwest, while in Europe, concerns over a national lockdown in France sapped investor appetite for risk. [MKTS/GLOB]

Spiraling pandemic, elevated unemployment levels and U.S. lawmakers failing to strike a deal on fresh fiscal stimulus before the Nov. 3 election sent the S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq to their lowest close in three weeks on Tuesday.

Wall Street's fear gauge .VIX spiked to its highest level in nearly two months as investors feared a contentious election among other outcomes in the final six-day stretch to the White House race.

Democratic challenger Biden leads President Donald Trump nationally by 10 percentage points, according to the Reuters/Ipsos poll but the competition is tighter in swing states, which will decide the victor.

At 06:28 a.m. ET, Dow E-minis 1YMcv1 were down 1.64% at 26,918 points and S&P 500 E-minis EScv1 fell 1.35% to 3,337.25 points. Nasdaq 100 E-minis NQcv1 dropped 1.05% to 11,465 points.

Microsoft Corp's MSFT.O quarterly results surpassed analysts targets, benefiting from a pandemic-driven shift to working from home and online learning. However, its shares fell 2% after rising 35% so far this year.

The other Big Tech companies - Apple AAPL.O, Alphabet GOOGL.O, Amazon AMZN.O and Facebook FB.O - which are due to report results on Thursday, fell between 0.9% and 1.6%.

Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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