Stock index futures fell on Tuesday, indicating equities may fall for a second straight session, as talks to secure a new bailout for Greece and avoid an unruly default had yet to bear fruit.
Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos negotiated through most of the night with lenders from the European Union and International Monetary Fund over more fiscal reforms as trade unions staged a national strike against more cuts.
As we enter this week the No. 1 concern we have is when, and if, Greece will get a deal cut with creditors, and the longer we wait the more nervous the market gets about that, said Art Hogan, managing director of Lazard Capital Markets in New York.
Everybody talks about the March deadline looming large - this is something we need to put in the rear view mirror for the markets to start moving forward.
European shares fell after disappointing results from investment bank UBS AG
The benchmark S&P index had risen for five straight weeks on the back of improving U.S. economic data, punctuated by the Friday payrolls report, to lift the index up almost 7 percent for the year. A light economic calendar this week has shifted investor focus back to the euro zone.
A disorderly Greece debt default could lead to increased fiscal problems for weaker members of the euro zone and dampen the U.S. recovery.
S&P 500 futures fell 4.7 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 6 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 5.75 points.
As earnings season winds down, investors awaited results from companies including Lincoln National Corp
Emerson Electric Co
According to Thomson Reuters data through Monday morning, of the 290 companies in the S&P 500 posting results, 60 percent topped expectations, tracking below recent quarters at this point of the reporting season.
UBS predicted more weakness in investment banking after a restructuring of the business failed to prevent an earnings hit from the euro zone debt crisis and worries about the global economy.
Toyota Motor Co
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is set to testify before the Senate Budget Committee in Washington, D.C., at 10 a.m. (1500 GMT).
U.S. stocks closed slightly lower on Monday as lingering questions about Europe's debt crisis and corporate earnings overshadowed growing optimism about economic growth after a five-week rally.
(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)