Futures slid Monday after Germany's finance minister said a forthcoming summit would not yield a definitive solution to Europe's debt crisis and after the New York Fed report that said manufacturing in New York State contracted for the fifth straight month in October.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said European governments will not resolve the crisis at the EU meeting scheduled for Oct. 23.
On the economic front, the New York Fed's Empire State index was little changed in October at minus 8.48 from minus 8.82 the previous month. Economists had expected a reading of minus 4, according to a Reuters poll.
Meanwhile, industrial production climbed 0.2 percent in September, in line with expectations, according to a Federal Reserve report.
Investors also digested a handful of earnings reports from several major firms.
Citi gained after the financial giant reported stronger-than-expected earnings.
Meanwhile, Wells Fargo slumped even after the bank said its profit jumped more than 20 percent as write-offs of bad loans declined while deposits gained.
On the M&A front, Kinder Morgan struck a $21 billion deal to buy rival El Paso combining the two largest natural gas pipeline operators in North America in a huge bet on the fast-growing market for that fuel.
BP gained after the oil giant reached an agreement with Anadarko, its partner in the well which exploded last year in the Gulf of Mexico, under which Anadarko will pay BP $4 billion in cleanup costs.
U.S. broker-dealer MF Global Holdings was told by the industry regulator to boost its net capital in August following concerns about its exposure to European debt, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Freeport McMoRan said it had halted copper and gold production on Monday at its giant Grasberg mine in Indonesia because of security fears and worker blockades, in the worst supply disruption since a strike began a month ago.
The head of Wal-Mart China business has resigned citing personal reasons, after the world's largest retailer ran into trouble with Chinese authorities leading to store closures and employee detentions.
And the United Auto Workers' tentative contract with Ford Motor looked assured of ratification on Sunday night after receiving overwhelming support at two major union branches, UAW officials said.
European shares were higher, extending their brisk recovery rally into a third week, as investors rushed back into equities on mounting expectation of a bold plan to fight the euro zone debt crisis at next weekend's EU summit.
The world's leading economies pressed Europe on Saturday to act decisively within eight days to resolve the euro zone's sovereign debt crisis, which is endangering the world economy.
Greece's debt crisis cannot be solved without larger write downs on Greek debt, and governments are trying to persuade banks to accept this, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Sunday.
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On Tap This Week:
MONDAY: Fed's Lacker and Evans speak; Earnings from IBM
TUESDAY: PPI, treasury international capital, housing market index, Bernanke speaks; Earnings from BofA, Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs, J&J, Apple, Intel, CSX and Yahoo
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage apps, CPI, housing starts, Fed's Rosengren speaks, oil inventories, Fed's Beige Book; Earnings from Morgan Stanley, Travelers, United Tech, AmEx, Ebay, Western Digital
THURSDAY: Jobless claims, existing home sales, Philadelphia Fed survey, leading indicators, Fed's Bullard and Kocherlakota speak, NewsCorp investor day; Earnings from AT&T, Eli Lilly, Nokia, AutoNation, Microsoft, Capital One, Chipotle and SanDisk
FRIDAY: Fed's Kocherlakota speaks, 2011 Dodd-Frank Rulemaking Deadline; Earnings from GE, McDonald's, Verizon, Honeywell and Schlumberger
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