Stock index futures sank ahead of the open amid worries over global growth in Europe and China, and continuing concerns about debt troubles in peripheral euro zone countries.
Over the weekend, Standard & Poor’s downgraded Italy's outlook to "negative" from "stable" and Spain's ruling Socialist party suffered an election setback. And on Monday, European purchasing managers index dataindicated a slowdown in growth in the euro zone, with German and French numbers below expectations.
Also in Europe, several leaders called for Greece to avoid debt restructuring and push ahead with austerity measures. The focus on Monday remains on whether Greece will receive another handout. Many investors fear that if Greece restructures its debt, Ireland and Portugal could follow suit.
President Barack Obama was in Dublin, Ireland on Monday morningwhere he will talk with the Prime Minister about debt and the country’s economy at the start of a European tour.
And in China, an index of manufacturing growth fell in May, an indication the economy is slowing down.
The news of slowing global growth sent oil prices lower. U.S. light, sweet crude fell more than 3 percent to below $97 a barrel. In London, Brentcrude fell nearly 3 percent to nearly $109.
The euro zone trouble pushed the euro to a two-month lowagainst the dollar.