Global Economic Concerns Weigh Down US Stock Futures

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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, February 28, 2012.

The U.S. stock index futures point to a lower open Monday as investors' concerns about the faltering global economy was revived following the disappointing economic indicators from China.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 0.20 percent, futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 index were down 0.28 percent and those on the Nasdaq 100 index were down 0.18 percent.

The data released Sunday by the National Bureau of Statistics showed that China's industrial production rose 8.9 percent in August compared to that in the same month last year, down from the 9.2 percent increase in July. China also reported a trade surplus of $26.66 billion in August amid the slower-than-expected growth in exports and imports, raising concern that the world's second-largest economy was not doing enough to stimulate the economy and avert a slowdown.

Investors will be focusing on the Federal Reserve's consumer credit, which measures the change in the total value of outstanding consumer credit that requires installment payments. It is closely correlated with consumer spending and confidence. The figure is expected to rise $9.05 billion in July, up from $6.46 billion in the previous month.

On Friday, the U.S. markets rose as investors hoped for policymakers to announce stimulus measures to revive the economic growth momentum. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that August payrolls rose 96,000, down from 141,000 in July. The weak data is expected to put additional pressure on the Fed to announce another round of quantitative easing measures in September.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.11 percent, the S&P 500 Index was up 0.40 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index marginally gained 0.02 percent.

Most of the European indices were in the red Monday as investor optimism over last week's bond buying plan announced by the European Central Bank began to fade and concerns about the debt crisis faced by the euro zone was revived. London's FTSE 100 was down 1.17 points, Germany's DAX 30 index fell 0.95 points and France's CAC 40 rose 2.60 points.

Most of the Asian markets rose Monday as investors remained hopeful that stimulus measures would be announced by China to boost its economy as its industrial production growth rate slowed down in August compared to that in the previous month.

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