U.S. stock index futures fell sharply on Thursday as technology stocks led the way lower on fears of increased regulations in the wake of Facebook’s data privacy issues, while the Trump administration’s move to impose import tariffs on China stoked fears of a global trade war.
Nasdaq futures were down more than 1 percent and a clutch of big tech names were all in the red in pre-market trading, led by a 1.5 percent slide in Facebook shares. Of the 25 most active stocks ahead of the bell, 22 were lower.
Stocks initially rose on the announcement, but ended slightly lower on Wednesday.
At 7:55 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were down 188 points and S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 fell 19.5 points. Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 dropped 75.5 points or 1.10 percent.
Having navigated past the Fed meeting, financial markets turned their attention to President Donald Trump’s plans to impose tariffs on Chinese imports, possibly targeting the country’s high-technology sector and restricting Chinese investments in the United States.
Tech stocks remained a weak spot after Facebook’s data breach issue raised fears that any failure by big tech firms to protect personal data could deter advertisers and users and invite tougher regulation.