New York (CNBC): U.S. stock index futures fell sharply on Wednesday, the first trading day of the new year, as disappointing economic data from China hampered global risk appetite.
At around 8:20 a.m. ET on Wednesday, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a drop of 401.46 points at the open. Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 also pointed to a weak open.
Shares of tech-related companies were among the worst performers in the premarket. Netflix’s stock dropped 2.9 percent after an analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey said subscriber growth — a key metric for the company — fell short of expectations in the fourth quarter. Chipmakers Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices both dropped more than 2.5 percent while Micron’s stock pulled back more than 3 percent.
Tesla shares also fell 6.1 percent after releasing weaker-than-expected delivery numbers for the fourth quarter.
The moves in premarket trade come after a private sector survey showed manufacturing activity in the world’s second-largest economy contracted for the first time in 19 months. China’s Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for December dipped to 49.7 from 50.2 in November.
The weaker-than-expected data follows a poor official survey on factory output, compounding concerns about a possible economic slowdown this year.