Stock index futures fell on Tuesday, a day after equities hit 13-month lows, as European officials considered making banks take bigger losses on Greek debt and on expectations Greece would default soon.
Wall Street has fallen for the past two sessions and the broad S&P 500 index was on the verge of entering bear market territory as investors feared that the crisis in Europe could make a recession more likely in the United States.
To add to market pessimism, Goldman Sachs cut its gross domestic product outlook for advanced economies for 2012, seeing growth of 1.3 percent versus its previous view of 2.1 percent.
The main driver of our shift in views has been the escalation of bank funding stress in the Euro area, alongside deeper public budget cuts in a number of European countries, Goldman said in a note.
The STOXX Europe 600 Banking Index <.SX7P> sank 4 percent on Tuesday while Franco-Belgian bank Dexia
U.S. banks were likely to remain in focus and continue to be pressured by the same issue. On Monday, Morgan Stanley
European finance ministers were considering making banks take bigger losses on Greek debt and delayed a vital aid payment to Athens until mid-November, setting up a crunch point in the region's sovereign debt crisis.
The economy is in a protracted slowdown, and until there's a resolution with Greece, that situation will continue to linger over the market, said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Banyan Partners LLC in New York. This could turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy of recession.
S&P 500 futures fell 11.9 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 sank 116 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 19.75 points.
The benchmark S&P is down 19.4 percent and near bear market territory, which would be a 20 percent decline from a high set on April 29.
Later Tuesday, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will testify before the Joint Economic Committee in Washington on the economic outlook.
Data on durable goods and factory orders, both for August, will also be released at 10 a.m. EDT. Factory orders are seen flat with the prior month.
Ford Motor Co
Fast food chain operator Yum! Brands Inc
The Dow and S&P dropped more than 2 percent on Monday, slumping to 13-month lows in heavy volume on fears Greece's debt woes could spark a full-blown banking crisis in Europe. The Nasdaq fell more than 3 percent.
(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)