Stock index futures fell on Monday as investors shed riskier assets before euro zone finance ministers meet to discuss the region's debt crisis.The arrest in New York on Sunday of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund, on charges of attempted rape of a hotel maid added to uncertainty about euro zone and IMF efforts to solve the sovereign debt crisis.
Oil fell more than $1 per barrel as worries over the restructuring of euro zone debt and doubts about the pace of global growth encouraged investors to reduce risk.
The euro dropped to its lowest since March ahead of the euro zone meeting in Brussels on the debt crisis, foremost Greece, which investors fear is at risk of default.
Strauss-Kahn is due to appear in court in New York on Monday. The case sent shock waves through French political circles and left the IMF in turmoil.
"With the arrest of Strauss-Kahn, there are worries out there ... Does this mean that the IMF will take a harsh look at Greece and Portugal? These are headline fears, and I don't expect it to be a lasting one, but that's weighing on the market today," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon Partners in New York.
In deal news, shares of NYSE Euronext (NYX.N) fell 11.2 percent in premarket trade to $36.30 after Nasdaq OMX Group Inc (NDAQ.O) and IntercontinentalExchange (ICE.N) withdrew their bid for the rival exchange.
Meeting on Monday, euro zone finance ministers are likely to back a bailout package for Portugal, with new conditions set by Finland. During the meeting euro zone officials were expected to pressure Greece to announce more austerity steps to secure further emergency funding.
U.S. financial stocks were expected to be pressured after European banks, including Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) and Societe Generale (SOGN.PA), fell sharply.
S&P 500 futures fell 5.3 points and were below fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration of the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures lost 58 points and Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 5 points.
European stocks were down in early trade on Monday, with the euro zone's blue chip Euro STOXX 50 (.STOXX50E) index falling 1 percent to a one-month low.
In U.S. economic news, the New York Federal Reserve is set to release its Empire State Manufacturing Survey for May at 8:30 a.m., while the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo issues May housing market index at 10 a.m..
Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Mayıs 2011, 15:44