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Futures Edge Lower Before Election Day

U.S. stock index futures drifted a bit lower Monday, after ending the crazy month of October on a high note and at the start of an events-packed week.

With only a smattering of news on the economic and earnings front, traders were expected to lay low on the final day of the presidential campaign.

"Right now that money is sitting on the sidelines waiting to see what happens tomorrow," Jack Bouroudjian, a principal at Brewer Investment Group, said on CNBC.

A relief rally is expected on Wall Street for Tuesday, the day of the U.S. presidential election, as business leaders and analysts continue to debate which candidate will be better for the economy.

Meanwhile, U.S. business conditions took a sharp downturn in the third quarter and the near-term outlook is even more gloomy, according to a quarterly survey conducted by the National Association for Business Economics.

But there is little relief to come from interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve, policy-maker Jeffrey Lacker said, insisting that the Fed must not forget about inflation as it battles recession, or leave interest rates too low for too long next year.

Some relief, however, looked set to come for homeowners, as JPMorgan Chase, the nation's largest bank and one of its biggest mortgage lenders, temporarily halted foreclosures Friday and offered to renegotiate a swathe of mortgages. JPMorgan shares edged higher in premarket trading.

Oil drifted lower as leaders of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries have declared their intentions to cut production to defend prices. Shares at energy leaders ExxonMobil and Chevron, both Dow components, edged lower premarket.

Another Dow component, , looked poised for an active day after the company agreed to a four-year contract with its 27,000-member assembly workers union over the weekend. Despite the agreement, Boeing shares slipped 1.2 percent premarket after gaining as much as 3.5 percent earlier.

Asian stocks closed higher as Seoul announced $11 billion in new spending and tax cuts and dismal Australian economic data cemented expectations that its central bank will slash rates again on Tuesday.

European markets were also mostly in the green as the Bank of England and the European Central Bank are expected to slash rates further when they meet on Thursday.

On the economic front, construction spending data will be release at 10:00 am New York time and spending is expected to have fallen by 0.8 percent in September after stagnating in August.

Also at 10 am, the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index will be out and is forecast to have fallen to 42 in October from September's 43.5, pointing to a deeper contraction of the sector.