Futures Decline; Earnings in Focus

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open Monday, in the wake of a negative week for the major indexes as investors braced for the next batch of earnings and data on the state of the housing market.

In economic news this morning, a gauge of manufacturing activity in New York reported a slight increase, after plunging the previous month.

Later this morning, the National Association of Home Builders will release its latest figures at 10 a.m., giving a snapshot of the health of the sector in August. The results are ahead of July's housing starts data, which is released Tuesday.

In earnings news, Lowe's turned inworse-than-expected earnings and sales, and warned of a bleaker outlook ahead until the housing market turns around.

After the bell earnings include retailer Urban Outfitters and scientific-instrument maker Agilent.

European shares were mostly lower with financials leading the decline. Asian stocks ended largely in the red, but Chinese stocks put in a strong performance.

Japanese stocks lost ground after gross domestic product data showed the nation's economy had slowed faster than expected as the relatively strong yen continued to dent exporters.


In other news, a clause in the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill means that many banks could be set to buy back Trups, equity instruments that pay interest like bonds, before they lose their status as tier-one capital.

And in the technology sector, an Apple manager was arrested Friday and indicted in an alleged kickback scheme involving Asian suppliers of accessories for the iPhone and iPod.