(By Balachander) U.S stock-index futures pointed to a lower open on Wall Street amid lingering worries about the global economic growth.
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures shed 45 points to 13,455. The Nasdaq futures fell 16 points to 2,836.50. Standard and Poor's 500 futures declined 5.90 points to 1,446.
Partly denting the sentiment was a report that Germany and France were struggling to agree on when to introduce a banking union for the euro-area. A territorial dispute between Japan and China is also contributing to the losses.
A report showed that the German Ifo business confidence index declined for a fifth straight month.
On the U.S. economic front, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index for August was a negative 0.87, down from a negative reading of 0.13 in July.
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At 10 am, the Dallas Fed manufacturing survey may show the general business index read a negative -1.20 in September.
On Friday, U.S. stocks closed on a mixed note, paring gains amid hopes that Spain could seek a bailout package shortly.
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In corporate news, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) fell 1.84 percent in premarket. The world's most valuable technology company said it has sold over five million of its new iPhone 5, just three days after its launch on September 21. Since the release of the original iPhone in January 2007, sales have grown to represent more than 40 percent of Apple's total revenue.
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Lennar Corp. (NYSE:LEN) added 6.48 percent in premarket after the homebuilder reported a jump in quarterly earnings, helped by sharp rise in revenue, increased deliveries and stronger gross margins.
Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOR) plunged 23.66 percent in premarket after the company disclosed in a filing that the U.S. government was probing its promotional practices.
Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) may be in focus after the payment services company agreed to resolve matters related to the marketing of certain credit protection products sold by telephone.
Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. (NYSE:CTB) rose 2.66 percent in premarket. Shares of the maker of replacement tires were upgraded to "Buy" by Deutsche Bank.
Red Hat Inc. (NYSE:RHT) may be focus ahead of its quarterly report. The provider of open source software services is expected to earn cents 29 cents a share on revenue of $322.1 million for the second quarter.
Paychex Inc. (NASDAQ:PAYX) is expected to post earnings per share of 42 cents for the first quarter on revenue of $584 million.
European markets traded in red, with Germany's DAX down 0.70 percent to trade at 7,399.80. France's CAC40 shed 1.12 percent to trade at 3,491.20. U.K.'s FTSE 100 declined 0.54 percent to trade at 5,821.17.
Asian markets closed mixed, with China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index added 0.32 percent to finish at 2,033.19. Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.45 percent to end at 9,069.29. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index shed 0.19 percent to close at 20,694.70. India's BSE Sensex closed at 18,673.34, down 0.42 percent.
Commodity & Currency Scan:
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures lost 1.07 percent to $91.90 per barrel. Gold futures retreated 0.94 percent to $1,761.3 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro dropped 0.60 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2903 and the British pound edged 0.18 percent lower to 1.6199. The dollar slipped 0.18 percent against the Japanese yen to 78.0300.