Futures drop on mounting concerns over global slowdown

08 Feb, 2016 5:30 pm

NEW YORK – US stock index futures were lower on Monday, with the Dow Jones industrial average slipping nearly 200 points, as fears of a global economic slowdown worsening rattle investors.

* U.S. stocks are coming off Friday’s massive tech-led selloff that pushed the Nasdaq to its lowest close since October 2014. Tech stocks were again among the top losers in premarket trading on Monday.

* Crude oil prices fell more than 2 percent after a meeting between Saudi Arabia and Venezuela failed to reassure investors of measures to help prices.

* Demand for crude has been seen as a barometer for global economic health, and markets across the world have tracked the rise and fall in the price of the commodity this year.

* Global markets were lower, as was the dollar index .DXY. However, volumes were thin with some Asian markets closed for the Lunar New Year.

* A mixed U.S. jobs report on Friday, with a lower-than-expected job additions in January offset by falling unemployment and higher wages, added to investors’ uncertainty.

* Economists said jobs report suggested a March interest rate increase from the Federal Reserve could not be completely ruled out. Traders have priced in a less than 50 percent chance of a hike in December, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch program.

* Shares of Cognizant (CTSH.O) were down 7 percent at $54.45 premarket after the IT services provider’s forecast missed estimates.

* Index heavyweights Amazon (AMZN.O), Alphabet (GOOGL.O), Netflix (NFLX.O) and Facebook (FB.O) were down between 2.5-3.5 percent. The stocks also led the market rout on Friday.

* S&P 500 companies on average are expected to report a 4.1 percent fall in quarterly profit, as companies wilt under tepid global demand and a strengthening dollar.

Futures snapshot at 7:06 a.m. ET:

* Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were down 192 points, or 1.19 percent, with 47,816 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were down 23 points, or 1.23 percent, with 280,915 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were down 80 points, or 1.99 percent, on volume of 58,791 contracts. –Reuters

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