Wall Street was set for a volatile open on Monday, with the S&P 500 hovering near its April low after signs of a slowing economy pushed the index to five weeks of losses.
The broad-based index has fallen 4.5 percent since a recent high at the start of May and is trading at six-week lows after falling through key technical support levels. Investors are eyeing the index's low for April.
The next two support levels, the important ones, are April 18 1,294.70, and then thereafter the March 16 1,249.05, said Wayne Kaufman, chief market analyst at John Thomas Financial in New York. Whether the support levels hold or not, there is still no demand for stocks.
Trading in stock index futures was volatile premarket, swinging between slight gains and losses, which could carry over after the market opens.
S&P 500 futures dipped 0.5 point 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 27 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 2.5 points.
A much weaker-than-expected jobs report on Friday was the latest disappointing economic news to hit sentiment. The S&P 500 fell 2.3 percent for the week, its worst since August. The index ended Friday with its fifth straight week of losses.
Kaufman said the recent falls had made stock valuations their most attractive since November, which could be a catalyst to drive the market higher ahead of second-quarter earnings season in July.
In one potential bright spot for investors, Apple Inc
World markets were weak Monday. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of top shares fell for a fourth straight session, down 0.3 percent. <.EU>
The Nikkei average <.N225> fell 1.2 percent to an 11-week closing low as speculation that Tokyo Electric Power Co <9501.T> could go through a restructuring fanned bearish sentiment in the wake of soft U.S. data.
Brent crude fell 1 percent to $114.77 a barrel on concern about demand ahead of a key OPEC meeting later this week. Signs that high prices are destroying demand in the West are worrying a group of OPEC's core members.
JP Morgan cut its rating on home improvement chain Lowes Cos Inc
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou starts a campaign to secure a new international bailout by imposing a long period of austerity on a nation already seething over corruption and economic mismanagement.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc
(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)