Stock index futures fell on Monday as concerns grew about the state of Europe's finances as Greece and Germany sparred over budget measures for Athens.
Bank stocks led the way lower after a report that Germany was pushing for Greece to give up control over its budget policy to European institutions as part of discussions over a second bailout package.
The issues in Greece added to uncertainty ahead of a Monday summit where European Union leaders will sign off on a permanent rescue fund for the euro zone. The leaders are expected to agree on a balanced budget rule in national legislation.
While sentiment has improved over the euro zone lately, with the S&P 500 up 4.7 percent this month, many investors still view the region with caution as setbacks in solving its sovereign debt issues could hamper international economic growth and erode domestic bank profits.
The inability of Greece and Germany to agree on a budget deal increases the likelihood that Greece will have to leave the euro zone, an event that would be a shock to the system, said Oliver Pursche, president at Gary Goldberg Financial Services in Suffern, New York.
In addition, while we could still rally on good news, the recent GDP data was disappointing and earnings have been mixed.
U.S.-listed shares of Barclays Plc
Standard & Poor's late Friday issued negative ratings on three brokerage firms, including Jefferies Group Inc
S&P 500 futures fell 8.7 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 79 points and Nasdaq 100 futures sank 16 points.
Issues in Europe have taken a backseat to the focus on corporate earnings in recent weeks. So far a majority of companies have topped analyst consensus expectations, though by a lower rate than previous quarters.
Swiss engineering group ABB
Bank of America Corp
Economic indicators on tap for Monday include December personal income and consumption data, as well as a measure of U.S. Midwest manufacturing. Income is seen rising 0.4 percent after a 0.1 percent rise in November, and consumption is forecast to rise 0.1 percent from November.
U.S. stocks trimmed losses to end little changed on Friday, as investors saw dips in the market as an opportunity to buy into what has been a strong first month of 2012.
(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)