Futures retreated Monday after the NY Fed's Empire State manufacturing report came in much lower than expected. Lowe's skidded after a disappointing outlook.
The New York Fed reported its gauge of regional manufacturing activity fell to 19.11in May from 31.86 in April. The level still indicates growth but was much weaker than the 30 expected.
Home-improvement retailer Lowe's reported earnings of 34 cents a share, higher than estimates, though it said 2010 will be "a year of transition." Shares fell 2 percent in premarket trading.
Asian stocks tumbled overnight in a follow-up to Wall Street's Friday losses, although European averages managed late-morning gains.
The uncertainty continues to help the prices of gold and gold-related investments, with the metal moving towards another record high, and the worlds largest gold ETF, the SPDR Gold Trust, rising to a historic high. Crude oil briefly dipped to a three-month low below $70 per barrel before recovering and turning slightly positive.
The National Association of Home Builders is out with its monthly sentiment index, expected to edge higher to 20 from April's 19 reading, at 1:00 pm.
Other stocks to watch this morning include OSI Pharmaceuticals (OSIP), which is being bought for $4 billion in cash by Astellas Pharma, Japan's second biggest drugmaker.
BP shares are up in European trading on news of progress in containing the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, and Universal Health Services is buying Psychiatric Solutions for $2 billion in cash.