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US Futures Lower on Commodities Sell-Off

U.S. stock index futures were in negative territory Monday as weak economic data in China sparked a global commodities selloff and trumped encouraging earnings from Citigroup.

China's gross domestic product grew 7.7 percent in the first quarter, over the same period a year-ago, below the expected 8 percent level and down from 7.9 percent in the previous quarter.

(Read More: Has China's Economy Hit a 'Dead End'?)

"These growth and activity numbers seem quite disappointing in light of the very rapid loan growth reported last year ... it has proved a sluggish start to the year and this suggests that the Chinese economy is less dynamic and reaching speed limits," said Greg Gibbs, senior foreign exchange strategist at RBS.

Chinese markets sold-off on the data. The Shanghai Composite closed around 1.1 percent lower and Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed 1.43 percent lower.

Commodities stocks in both Asia and Europe traded sharply lower on the news, with Randgold Resources, Lonmin, Rio Tinto, Fresnillo, and Kazakmys all posting heavy declines. Gold prices fell nearly 5 percent to around $1,400 as investors dumped shares of miners on worries over their profitability.

(Read More: Miners Crushed as Gold Extends Fall Below $1,500)

Among earnings, Citigroup gained after the financial giant topped earnings and revenue expectations thanks to improvements on loans and credit spreads.

The pace of earnings season begins to pick up this week with major companies including Goldman Sachs, Intel, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Microsoft, Google and GE scheduled to report results.

(Read More: Fight or Flight: Get Ready for the Earnings Crush)

On the economic front, the pace of growth in manufacturing in New York state slowed more than expected to 3.05 in April from 9.24 in March, according to the New York Fed's "Empire State" index. Economists had expected a reading of 7.

The National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) market sentiment index is due out at 10 am ET. Economists in a Reuters poll see the index coming in at 45 for April, up on 44 last month.

In the U.S., merger Monday kicked off with Dish Network offering to buy Sprint Nextel for $25.5 billion in cash and stock, a move that could thwart Sprint's proposed acquisition by Japan's SoftBank Corp.

Also, Thermo Fisher Scientific is nearing a deal to buy genetic testing equipment maker Life Technologies for close to $13 billion, according to four people familiar with the matter, in what would be one of the year's biggest corporate takeovers. Shares of Life Technologies were halted in pre-market trading.

In stock news, Google has settled its two-year antitrust investigation by the European Commission by agreeing to legally binding changes to its search results.

Also, JPMorgan downgraded Saks from "overweight" to "neutral," citing downward pressure on luxury spending due to the higher income tax burden.

—By CNBC's JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC)

Coming Up This Week:

MONDAY: Housing market index, credit card default rates, tax day
TUESDAY: Chicago Fed's Evans speaks, NY Fed's Dudley speaks, CPI, housing starts, industrial production, Fed Gov. Duke speaks, Minneapolis Fed's Kocherlakota speaks, Moody's annual mtg, US Bancorp shareholder mtg; Earnings from BlackRock, Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson, Northern Trust, US Bancorp, Intel, CSX, Yahoo
WEDNESDAY: Mortgage applications, St. Louis Fed's Bullard speaks, oil inventories, Boston Fed's Rosengren speaks, Beige Book, Treasury Secretary Lew speaks, Carnival Corp. annual mtg, Gap investor mtg; Earnings from Abbott Labs, Bank of America, Bank of NY Mellon, American Express, Ebay, Noble, Sandisk
THURSDAY: Jobless claims, Minneapolis Fed's Kocherlakota speaks, Philadelphia Fed survey, Richmond Fed's Lacker speaks, leading indicators, natural gas inventories Fed Gov. Raskin speaks, Fed balance sheet/money supply, Ebay shareholders mtg, Texas Instruments annual mtg, G20 finance ministers mtg; Earnings from Morgan Stanley, PepsiCo, Philip Morris, United Health, Verizon, Nokia, Peabody Energy, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Capital One, Chipotle, E-Trade Financial
FRIDAY: Fed Gov. Stein speaks, IMF spring mtg; Earnings from GE, McDonald's, Schlumberger, Baker Huges, Honeywell

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