Stock futures remain stable after strong sell-off on Wall Street amid growing virus fears

A pedestrian passes in front of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, USA. USA, Wednesday June 3, 2020.

Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | fake pictures

Stock futures held steady Wednesday morning, following a sharp market sell-off caused by heightened concerns about the coronavirus resurgence.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up about 20 points. S&P futures and Nasdaq 100 futures changed little. Trading volumes were low.

Record spikes in new coronavirus cases in multiple states are dampening hopes for a smooth economic recovery. California and Florida reported their highest daily spikes in new coronavirus cases, while Houston said the beds in its intensive care unit are near capacity. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut also ordered visitors from certain critical states to remain in quarantine for 14 days.

Negative headlines sent the market into a downward spiral on Wednesday. The Dow fell about 700 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq fell 2.5% and 2.1%, respectively. All three benchmarks recorded their worst day since June 11. The Nasdaq, which is a tech savvy, also broke an eight-day winning streak.

“The market has been optimistic that the economy is reopening and that life would return to normal, but the virus may have other ideas,” said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer for the Independent Advisor Alliance, in an email. “The market has again been caught in the crossfire of an increasing number of Covid-19 cases, trade protectionism, and politics.”

The Trump administration is considering new tariffs on exports of $ 3.1 billion from France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom, according to a notice by the United States Trade Representative published Tuesday night. New tariffs on olives, beer, gin, and trucks can be up to 100%.

Investors will monitor the latest jobless claims data on Thursday at 8:30 am ET. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had expected a total of 1.35 million first-time unemployment insurance claims for the week ending June 20, which would be a decrease of 1,508 million from the previous week. Weekly jobless claims have hovered above 1 million for 13 weeks as the pandemic rocked the labor market.

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