U.S. stock index futures declined ahead of the open Monday in the wake of lackluster employment data Friday and as debt fears continued to sweep through European markets.
The major indexes ended lower Friday after December's nonfarm payrolls growth came in lower than expected. Bank shares fell sharply after a Massachusetts court ruling worried investors that the foreclosure fraud scandal could escalate.
Investors' attention now turns to the coming earnings season with Alcoa due to release figures after the closing bell.
Mergers and acquisition activity heated up, but failed to lift markets.
DuPont offered to buy Danish food ingredients and enzymes firm Danisco for $5.8 billion. The U.S. chemicals firm plans to use the deal to boost its position in the food sector.
Duke Energy reached a deal to buy Progress Energy for $46.13 a share to create the nation's largest energy company. The deal represents a modest 4 percent premium over Friday's closing price for Progress.
A report at the weekend said that Johnson & Johnson made a bid for Europe's largest maker of replacement knees and hips, Smith & Nephew. Shares in Smith & Nephew jumped 10 percent Monday morning.
Food and beverage company Sara Lee may be the target of an acquisition by private equity firms including Apollo Global Management.