Global market rout; Blaming the Fed; BMW ups its China stake

1. Markets head for more losses: US stock futures were lower, pointing to another day of losses on Wall Street.

Tech stocks including Facebook (FB), Apple (AAPL), Snap (SNAP) and Amazon (AMZN) were among the biggest losers in premarket trading.

Meanwhile, a sharp drop in US stocks on Wednesday spread to global markets.

The pain was most severe in Asia, where benchmark indexes in Hong Kong and Tokyo shed over 3.5%. The Shanghai Composite closed down 5.2%.

European markets opened with losses of roughly 1%.

On Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average plunged 832 points, or 3.2%. The S&P 500 was down 3.3% and the Nasdaq tumbled 4.1%.

2. The blame game: Analysts say a combination of factors, including higher interest rates and worries about the trade war, were responsible for the sell-off.

US rates have risen rapidly, which led to spiking bond yields. As bonds become more attractive to investors looking for returns, stocks suffer. Some think the Federal Reserve is too aggressive in its approach.

President Donald Trump is one of them He blasted the cent on Wednesday as “crazy.”

“The Fed is making a mistake,” Trump told reporters as he arrived for a rally in Erie, Pennsylvania. “They’re so tight. I think the Fed has gone crazy.”

However, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he didn’t think the Federal Reserve triggered the rout in US stocks.

He called the market drop “a normal correction.”

“I don’t think there was any new news that came out of the Fed today that wasn’t there beforehand,” Mnuchin said Thursday morning in an interview in Bali, Indonesia.

3. BMW in China: BMW (BAMXF) is taking control over its business in China, the first international carmaker to do so since the Chinese government moved earlier this year to relax ownership restrictions.

The German company said it will pay €3.6 billion ($4.2 billion) to take control over its joint venture with Brilliance China Automotive Holdings.

Its stake will increase by 25% to 75%, and the deal is expected to close in 2022.

4. Volatile oil: US oil futures dropped 1.1% to trade at $72.30 per barrel.

Data from the American Petroleum Institute on Wednesday showed US inventories grew more than expected. The report came amid widespread outages in oil production in the Gulf of Mexico because of Hurricane Michael.

5. Earnings and economics: Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) will release earnings before the open.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics will publish its September inflation report at 8:30 a.m. ET.

6. Coming this week:
Thursday — Delta (DAL) earnings; Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA); Deadline for Sky shareholders to accept Comcast offer; Monthly OPEC report
Friday — Citigroup (C), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Wells Fargo earnings (WFC); US consumer sentiment for October