Stock index futures fell on Monday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke offered a more sobering view of the economy and investors were set to lock in profits after a strong performance last week.
Meanwhile, euro zone finance ministers met amid pressure to increase the size of a 750 billion euro ($1,006 billion) safety net for debt-stricken members in hopes of halting potential contagion to other countries.
On Sunday, Bernanke told the CBS television program 60 Minutes that the Fed could end up increasing its commitment to buy $600 billion in U.S. government bonds if the economy fails to respond or unemployment stays too high.
Bernanke also said it would take four to five years for the country's unemployment rate to come down to what he called more normal levels of about 5 percent to 6 percent.
Quantitative easing has been a double-edged sword for equities as it has helped inflate asset prices but also signaled the recovery is still fragile.
The euro fell ahead of the European meeting, pressuring equities. Stocks and the euro have moved in tandem of late with the euro looked at as a proxy for debt concerns.
S&P 500 futures dropped 3 points and were below fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures lost 11 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures slipped 7 points.
Stocks closed their best week in a month on Friday, despite data showing tepid jobs growth. The S&P 500 rose 3 percent last week.
The S&P 500 faces strong technical resistance at about 1,228, near a recent high of more than two years and also the 61.8 percent Fibonacci retracement of the index's slide from October 2007 to March 2009, a key technical indicator.
Support for the benchmark kicks in at 1,200, which was recently a stubborn resistance point, and the top end of its recent trading range. The S&P closed at 1,224.71 on Friday.
Bank of America Corp
(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)