Futures pointed to a lower market open as Wall Street braces for what is traditionally the worst month of the year.
Economic signals again will be in focus as investors try to gauge the strength of the economic recovery.
The Institute for Supply Management will release its monthly manufacturing index at 10 am New York time, and economists are looking for a reading of 50.5. Any reading over 50 means the manufacturing sector is expanding rather than contracting, and exceeding 50 would be considered a milestone of sorts. The ISM index came in at 48.9 last month and last exceeded 50 in January of 2008.
The latest construction spending figures for July come at 10 am and are expected to be unchanged, as well as July pending home sales. That number is expected to rise 1.5 percent from June.
As the calendar flips to September, investors will look back on August fondly, the last two trading sessions notwithstanding.
August marked the sixth consecutive month of gains for both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq, and the fifth positive month for the Dow out of six. The Dow and the S&P 500 had their best Augusts in nine years, and the S&P has now gained almost 39 percent over the past six months.
The major automakers will release auto sales figures for August, and the industry is expected to show its first year over year gain in nearly two years, thanks in large measure to the Cash For Clunkers program.
Among actively traded stocks premarket, battered commercial mortgage lender CIT Group saw shared drop 4.6 percent after the company said it would fail to make a Sept. 15 interest payment on notes due in 2067.
The air also continued to come out of the meteoric rally in American International Group shares, which more than tripled in August. AIG lost another 5.25. percent premarket.
Also, Bank of America rose more than 1 percent premarket after it said it wanted to repay part of its government bailout money.
Yahoo may be a stock to watch in the day ahead, as investor Carl Icahn cuts his stake in the company to 4.48 percent from 5.45 percent.
- Written by Peter Schacknow, Senior Producer, CNBC.com