U.S. stock index futures fell on Monday, bracing for the start of the earnings season which could see profits come under pressure at a time of growing fears of an economic downturn due to aggressive interest rate hikes.
After a dismal first half of the year, U.S. stocks started July on an upbeat note, however, market participants fear that upcoming quarterly results could trigger another selloff, with earnings potentially falling short of estimates.
Trading was choppy last week, but investors took some relief from easing commodity prices and the U.S. Federal Reserve hinting at a more tempered program of rate hikes amid growing concerns of a global recession.
All the three benchmark indexes ended the week higher on Friday, while the Nasdaq posted a gain for the fifth straight session.
The market is now largely pricing in a 75-basis-point rate hike later in July, however concerns about the pace of future rate hikes have grown after a stronger-than-expected jobs report on Friday.
The report, which signaled a still strong labor market helped alleviate some fears about an immediate recession, but added to worries about more aggressive monetary policy tightening by the Fed to stamp out soaring inflation.
Big banks such as JPMorgan Chase & Co, Citigroup Inc and Morgan Stanley are due to post earnings later this week, and their results will be parsed for any signs of slowing economic growth. The banks' shares fell between 0.7% and 1.1% in premarket trading.
Investor focus will also be on U.S. consumer prices data later this week to gauge the state of inflation and how aggressively the Fed could respond.
At 06:51 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 110 points, or 0.35%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 19.25 points, or 0.49%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 80.75 points, or 0.66%.
Shares of Twitter Inc slid 6.6% after Elon Musk, chief executive of Tesla, said on Friday he was terminating his deal to buy the social media company.
U.S. casino operators Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts and Melco Resorts fell between 4.6% and 5.7% after Macau shut all its casinos for the first time in more than two years in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19. (Reporting by Amruta Khandekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)