U.S. inventory futures retreated Wednesday after an acrimonious presidential debate underscored the dangers across the election, and traders fretted a few second wave of coronavirus infections hobbling the financial restoration.

Futures tied to the S&P 500 dropped 0.8%, suggesting that the broad market gauge stays on observe to finish September with its first month-to-month drop since March. Contracts tied to the Nasdaq-100 fell 1%.

President Trump and Joe Biden on Tuesday night time clashed in a rancorous debate. The president sidestepped a query about whether or not he would urge his supporters to remain calm and never interact in any civil unrest if there was a interval after the Nov. 3 election whereas votes had been nonetheless being tabulated. Mr. Biden steered that it might take awhile to rely hundreds of ballots that may’t be opened till Election Day.

Issues about rising coronavirus infections in current days and the chance it poses to the financial restoration are additionally weighing on markets. The share of people that examined constructive in New York Metropolis climbed over 3.25%, highlighting the chance of a second wave of infections.

The Cboe Volatility Index, a measure of anticipated swings within the S&P 500, continued to advance on Wednesday.

Trump supporters watched the primary debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Tuesday night time.


angela weiss/Agence France-Presse/Getty Photographs

“Markets appear to be getting extra involved, with VIX futures peaking across the election,” mentioned Edward Park, deputy chief funding officer at Brooks Macdonald. “However whoever takes over, and nevertheless lengthy it takes to take over, the individual will probably be dealing with a battle towards coronavirus.”

Delays to fiscal stimulus on each side of the Atlantic are additionally a fear for traders, who worry economies will want recent assist within the absence of a transparent timeline for a coronavirus vaccine. Whereas U.S. lawmakers are looking for frequent floor on a deal forward of the election, a German authorities spokesperson late Tuesday warned of potential delays to the approval course of for the EU restoration fund.

“For monetary markets, there’s a rising understanding that it was a V-shaped rebound, however that doesn’t imply will probably be a V-shaped financial restoration,” mentioned Carsten Brzeski, an economist with ING Financial institution in Frankfurt. “Any delays in fiscal stimulus will add to that realization.”

Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are making a late push to try to reach agreement on a coronavirus-relief deal earlier than the election, regardless of skepticism on Capitol Hill {that a} deal is feasible at this stage. The 2 are anticipated to speak once more Wednesday.

“In the intervening time markets are very vary certain, contained by the chance of coronavirus however towards a backdrop of financial stimulus,” Mr. Park mentioned. “A U.S. fiscal stimulus forward of the election could be a really welcome shock.”

In bond markets, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury ticked as much as 0.653%, from 0.644% Tuesday.

The ICE U.S. Greenback Index, which tracks the buck towards a basket of currencies, ticked up 0.1%.

In commodities, Brent crude, the worldwide vitality benchmark, fell 0.5% to $41.35 a barrel forward of weekly knowledge on U.S. crude inventories. Gold fell 0.7% to $1,890.20 a troy ounce.

Abroad, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 edged down 0.3%.

China’s Shanghai Composite ended the day down 0.2% available in the market’s final buying and selling session earlier than a weeklong vacation. Knowledge on Wednesday confirmed that China’s economic recovery gathered more steam in September. A rebound in international demand and the federal government’s supportive measures bolstered manufacturing facility exercise and helped push sentiment within the service sector to its highest stage in practically seven years.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 ended the day down 1.5%. Monetary shares led losses amid ongoing uncertainty over the tempo of a worldwide financial restoration from the coronavirus pandemic.

Write to Anna Isaac at anna.isaac@wsj.com

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