(By Balachander) U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower opening on the Wall Street after a data showed manufacturing in New York region shrank more than forecast.
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures shed 24 points to 13,494. The Nasdaq futures edged 2.25 points lower to 2,848. Standard and Poor's 500 futures fell 3.20 points to 1,455.80.
On Friday, U.S. stocks extended its rally following the Federal Reserve's move to purchase mortgage bonds at a pace of $40 billion per month to spur growth and also decided to keep interest rates "exceptionally low" at least through middle of 2015. The central bank said it would continue its bond-purchase program until substantial improvement in the outlook for the labor market.
On the domestic data front, a New York Federal Reserve's empire state manufacturing survey show that the headline index contracted to 10.4 for September from a fall of 5.9 for August, while economists expected a reading of -2.
Other keenly anticipated data over the week include: housing starts and building permits, existing home sales, initial jobless claims, manufacturing PMI, Philadelphia Federal Reserve Manufacturing Index and Conference Board's leading economic indicators index.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: GM, AAPL, ODP, LDK, LOW
In corporate news, General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) shed 1.33 percent in premarket. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Treasury said it may not sell its 26.5 percent stake in the company anytime soon, as doing so would would mean huge investment losses.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) said pre-orders of its iPhone 5 topped two million in just 24 hours, shattering the previous record of one million held by iPhone 4S. Shares inched up in premarket.
Office Depot Inc. (NYSE:ODP) jumped 7.29 percent in premarket after Starboard Value LP disclosed a 13.3 percent stake in the Boca Raton, Florida-based supplier of office products, making the activist investment fund biggest shareholder of the company.
EPL Oil & Gas Inc. (NYSE:EPL) has agreed to acquire certain shallow water Gulf of Mexico shelf oil and natural gas interests from privately-held Hilcorp Energy GOM Holdings LLC for $550 million.
LDK Solar Co. Ltd. (NYSE:LDK) slashed its revenue forecast for the full year after the maker of solar equipments posted a quarterly loss as sales slumped 53 percent. U.S.-listed shares of the Chinese company shed 2.42 percent in premarket.
Lowe's Companies Inc. (NYSE:LOW) said it has formally withdrawn its non-binding proposal to acquire Canada's RONA Inc. (TSX: RON) for C$14.50 in cash per share.
European markets traded lower as leaders from the region remained divided over the European Commission's proposal on the banking union, with Germany's DAX down 0.28 percent to trade at 7,391.09. France's CAC40 fell 0.66 percent to trade at 3,558.00. U.K.'s FTSE 100 declined 0.34 percent to trade at 5,895.28.
Asian markets closed mixed, with China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index tumbling 2.14 percent to finish at 2,078.50. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index inched up 0.14 percent to close at 20,658.11. India's BSE Sensex closed at 18,542.31, up 0.42 percent. Japan's Nikkei 225 was closed for a holiday.
Commodity & Currency Scan:
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures retreated 0.33 percent to $98.67 per barrel. Gold futures slipped 0.10 percent to $1,771.0 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro shed 0.24 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.3097 while the British pound inched up 0.10 percent to 1.6233. The dollar edged 0.04 percent lower against the Japanese yen to 78.3600.