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Futures Slide, Dollar Rises on Ireland Deal

U.S. stock index futures slid deeper into negative territory ahead of the open Monday as a final agreement on Ireland's bailout fund failed to lift investor sentiment.

European Union finance ministers backed the $112.2 billion aid package over the weekend in a bid to shore up Ireland's indebted banking sector and stem investors' growing fear of a euro zone debt crisis.

But investors treated the plan skeptically. The euro continued its recent slide against the U.S. dollar, falling 1 percent in morning trading to 1.315. Meanwhile, the dollar rose against a basket of currencies.

European stocks didn't receive a boost from the news either, as the major indexes struggled to find positive territory after opening higher. Asian stocks ended mostly in the green but geopolitical tensions in Korea still rattled investors.

China called for emergency talks to end the standoff in the region after North Korea fired artillery at an Island in South Korea last week causing fatalities and widespread condemnation.

Investors will be watching retail firms to get a read on the holiday sales in the run up to Christmas after the all-important shopping period kicked off last Friday. Cyber Monday is expected to show a spike in online retail sales.

Meanwhile, Congress returns to work with expiring Bush-era tax cuts likely to be high on the discussion agenda.

In corporate news, Wal-Mart is to pay $2.3 billion for a controlling stake in South African discount retailerMassmart. And BP agreed to sell its 60 percent stake in Pan American Energy for $7 billion.

Pharmaceutical company Amarin said its lead drug candidate to cut triglyceride levels was working in late-stage tests aimed at not raising so-called "bad" cholesterol levels. Shares rose nearly 20 percent in premarket trading.

And Starbucks has accused Kraft of mismanaging sales of its packaged coffee in grocery stores. Starbucks may want to end its 12-year partnership with Kraft, documents quoted by Reuters show.

Stillwater Mining slumped after news Norimet, a unit of Norilsk Nickel Mining & Metallurgical, plans to sell at least 37 million shares of the company, which produces platinum and palladium and other metals. Norimet owns 55.5 stake in Stillwater.

On Tap This Week:

MONDAY: Texas manufacturing outlook survey, Chicago Fed Midwest manufacturing index, St. Louis Fed Pres Bullard speaks, Cyber Monday
TUESDAY: ISM-NY report on business, S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, consumer confidence, Minnesota Fed Pres Kocherlakota speaks, Bernanke speaks, Obama meets with Congressional leaders
WEDNESDAY: Auto sales, MBA mortgage applications, Challenger job-cut report, ADP employment report, productivity and costs, ISM mfg index, construction spending, oil inventories, Beige Book, Fed vice chair Yellen speaks
THURSDAY: ECB announcement, jobless claims, pending home sales, Philadelphia Fed Pres Plosser speaks, Fed Gov. Duke speaks, chain-store sales; Earnings from Toll Brothers, Del Monte and Kroger
FRIDAY: Employment situation, factory orders, ISM non-mfg index

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