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The major futures indexes are suggesting a decline of 0.6% when the trading session begins on Wall Street.
The debate atmosphere was antagonistic, as to be expected, but for voters still undecided about who’d better handle the multiple crises that have beset the nation, the faceoff may not have offered anything new.
Investors remain cautious with COVID-19 infections on the rise again in the U.S. and elsewhere. The Trump-Biden debate occurred as coronavirus deaths worldwide have surpassed 1 million. Many millions of people worldwide are jobless.
A survey of Chinese manufacturers, showed economic activity accelerating further in September as businesses recovered from the downturn earlier this year due to the pandemic.
The Caixin manufacturing PMI slipped to 53.0 from 53.1 in August, on a 100-point scale. China's official manufacturing PMI rose to 51.5 from 51.0, its highest level in two years.
In Asia, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose 0.8%, China's Shanghai Composite slipped 0.2% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 index lost 1.5%.
In Europe, London's FTSE slipped 0.3%, Germany's DAX fell 0.7% and France's CAC declined 0.7%.
On Tuesday, the S&P 500 index fell 16.13 points to 3,335.47, after rallying the day before. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gave up 0.5%, to 27,452.66, and the technology-heavy Nasdaq composite lost 0.3%, to 11,085.25.
Congress still is arguing over the size of a new economic support package after additional unemployment benefits expired. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have agreed to hold another round of stimulus talks. However with the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Congress has redirected much of its attention to President Trump's nominee to replace her.
The last major jobs report before the election will come out on Friday. It is a key indicator of how businesses are faring, but also politically important for both GOP and Democratic messaging heading into the election. Economists expect 850,000 jobs were created in September, with an unemployment rate of 8.2%.
The price of oil fell 3.2% on Tuesday, dragging much of the energy sector down with it. On Wednesday, U.S. crude fell 40 cents to $38.89 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, gave up 53 cents to $40.50 per barrel.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.