Investing.com - U.S. stock futures pointed to a lower open on Monday, pausing after last week’s rally as investors turned jittery ahead of a meeting of euro zone finance ministers later in the day to discuss whether to release Greece’s next tranche of aid.
Sentiment remained supported on hopes U.S. consumers will spend more this holiday season.
Ahead of the open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a loss of 0.5%, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.45% decline, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.35% drop.
Investors stuck to the sidelines ahead of a meeting of euro zone finance ministers later in the day to discuss whether to release Greece’s next tranche of aid.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she believes a deal can be reached at Monday’s talks, while the French finance minister said over the weekend that an agreement is close.
Markets participants continued to monitor developments surrounding the looming “fiscal cliff” in the U.S., approximately USD600 billion in automatic tax hikes and spending cuts due to come into effect on January 1.
Lawmakers will return to Washington, for a three-week session after the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
There are fears the U.S. economy will fall back into a recession, unless a divided Congress and the White House can work out a compromise in the six weeks left before the January 1 deadline.
No major economic data are on the agenda.
Shares in retailers were expected to be active on signs that consumers were actively spending on Black Friday. Surveys showed a record 247 million shoppers visited stores and websites between Thursday and Sunday, up 9.2% from the year before.
The Monday after Thanksgiving, known as Cyber Monday, is also a key day of shopping for the e-commerce world.
Shares in electronics retailer Best Buy added 1% ahead of the open, while online retailers Amazon and eBay rose 0.3% apiece.
Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were lower, as investors looked ahead to a meeting of euro zone finance ministers to discuss a delayed bailout payment for Greece.
The EURO STOXX 50 fell 0.5%, France’s CAC 40 shed 0.7%, Germany's DAX declined 0.25%, while Britain's FTSE 100 slumped 0.5%.
During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dipped 0.25%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index added 0.25%.
Markets in Japan rallied to a seven-month high boosted by ongoing weakness in the yen, which traded close to an eight-month low against the U.S. dollar and a seven-month low against the euro.