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Futures Sharply Lower on Euro Zone Worries

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.

On Tap This Week:

MONDAY: Chicago Fed National Activity Index; St. Louis Fed President James Bullard speaks; Wind Power 2011 conference.
TUESDAY: New home sales, Richmond Fed Business Activity Survey, two-year Treasury note auction; Kansas City Fed President Thomas Hoenig speaks; Boeing Investor meeting; FDIC report on Q1 bank earnings.
WEDNESDAY: Mortgage applications, durable goods orders, oil inventories, five-year Treasury note auction; Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota speaks; USDA Food Prices Outlook, BlackRock shareholder meeting, ExxonMobil shareholder meeting, Yahoo investor day; earnings before-the-bell from Costco and Polo Ralph Lauren.
THURSDAY: GDP, USDA Agricultural Trade Outlook, jobless claims, corporate profits, natural gas inventories, seven-year Treasury note auction, money supply; earnings before-the-bell from Sony and Tiffany.
FRIDAY: Personal income and spending, consumer sentiment, and pending home sales.

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