Futures Slip Lower at Start of Jobs Week

Stock index futures pointed to a lower open Monday ahead of week filled with earnings reports and economic news, including the September jobs report on Friday.

The weakness in U.S. futures also comes after European markets fell on increased worries that European banks may need another bailout in 2011and concerns over sovereign debt.

Currency moves seemed to be dictating the flow of the market. The dollar rose sharply against the euro and was up up 0.4 percent against a basket of foreign currencies .

The rising dollar hit energy prices, with crude oil dropping to near $81 a barrel after last week's 7 percent gain. Gold , though, edged higher.

The report could offer further clues on the state of the economy and the likelihood of further Federal Reserve action.

Investors are also gearing up for the start of earnings season, which kicks off later this week with results from Alcoa, Costco and PepsiCo.

The battle for control of U.S. biotech company Genzyme heated up asSanofi-Aventis launched a hostile bidat $69 a share or $18.5 billion on Monday. Shares for the firms were largely unchanged in the pre-market as traders had priced in the possibility of a hostile bid.

Microsoft shares dropped in pre-market trading after Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock to "neutral" from "buy" on concerns of a longer PC refresh cycle and the newer threat from tablets, where Windows does not yet have a presence.

Economic data due on Monday includes new figures for pending home sales, which measure sales contracts for existing homes. The numbers are due at 10 a.m. and are expected to have risen 1 percent in August after rising 5.2 percent in July, according to Briefing.com.

Also at 10 a.m., the Commerce Department will release August factory data. Orders are expected to have fallen 0.4 percent in August after rising 0.1 percent in July, a Briefing.com poll of economists showed.

On Friday, the Arizona-based Institute for Supply Management said its factory index dropped to 54.4 in September from 56.3 the prior month, showing a slowing pace of expansion in U.S. manufacturing.

The same day, Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley said the central bank will probably need to act to spur the recovery and avert deflation.

Traders will be looking out for comments on currency from delegates at this week’s IMF/World Bank meeting, after Brazil’s finance minister warned last week against the threat of currency wars.

None of the world's economic powers wants a strong currency right now and major emerging economies like Brazil know a weaker currency gives their goods a competitive advantage.

Also in the spotlight is Bank of Japan, which could decide to pump more money into its economy and announce another government bond purchase program at its policy meeting this week.

In Europe, investors are one again keeping a close eye on Greece, which is set to unveil its 2011 draft budget. More austerity measures are expected.

On Tap This Week:

MONDAY: Pending home sales; Factory orders; Ford dealers meeting; Earnings from Mosaic
TUESDAY: ISM non-manufacturing index; Intel CEO Otellini speaks; Earnings from Yum Brands
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage applications; Challenger job-cut report; ADP employment report; weekly oil inventories; CTIA Wireless; Earnings from Costco and Monsanto
THURSDAY: Monthly chain store sales; BoE announcement; ECB announcement; Kansas City Fed Pres Hoenig speaks; Consumer credit; Mosaic shareholder meeting; Earnings from PepsiCo and Alcoa
FRIDAY: Monthly non-farm payroll; Wholesale trade; NY Comic Con; IMF, World Bank annual meetings

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