US stock futures just took a nosedive

The first quarter wrapped on Tuesday with the Dow falling 200 points. 

And at around 9:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday night in New York, Dow Futures were taking a major leg lower. 

The only major news in markets on Tuesday night was manufacturing data out of China, which showed unexpected expansion in the country’s manufacturing sector, but indicated that growth still remains sluggish in the world’s second-largest economy. 

In a note following the report, Bill Adams at PNC Financial said:

“The pickup in the manufacturing PMI was concentrated among larger firms, likely reflecting expectations of stabilizing demand from China’s construction industry. In both the manufacturing and non-manufacturing surveys, a majority of surveyed businesses reported net declines in payrolls from a month earlier in March … While we hesitate to rely too heavily on the PMI employment subindexes, they seem to show the labor market weakening and the output gap widening in China.”

Each of the major US indexes was down more than 1% near 9:30 p.m. ET, with Dow futures falling more than 175 points, S&P 500 futures dropping 21 points, and Nasdaq futures off 52 points.

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Meanwhile, Nikkei futures, which can sometimes drive Dow Futures lower overnight as markets in Asia are open, are off about 1%.

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And the VIX, which measures volatility, is up more than 6%. 

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