U.S. stock index futures pointed to a sharply lower open, with Dow futures tumbling triple digits as European and Asian shares tumbled in the wake of renewed oil price weakness.
European stocks fell sharply shortly after market open, with the pan-European STOXX 600 down about 3 percent after a weak session in Asia and fresh lows in oil.
Futures trimmed losses after U.S. economic data, with Dow futures off session lows of more than 300 points lower to trade about 240 points lower as of 8:47 a.m. ET.
In economic news, the December U.S. CPI showed a 0.1 percent decline. Ex-food and energy, the index rose 0.1 percent after rising 0.2 percent for three straight months, according to Reuters. In the 12 months through December, this so-called core CPI rose 2.1 percent, the largest gain since July 2012, after climbing 2.0 percent in November.
Building Permits fell 3.9 percent in December. Housing Starts fell 2.5 percent but the seasonally adjusted annual pace remained above a 1 million.
The U.S. dollar held a touch higher against major world currencies, with the euro near $1.09 and the yen near 116.72 yen against the greenback.