Stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Wall Street on Monday, with futures for the S&P 500 down 0.56 percent, Dow Jones futures down 0.5 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures down 0.86 percent at 0900 GMT.

News Corp will be in the spotlight after the company's shares traded in Australia sank to a two-year low on Monday as the UK phone hacking scandal fallout worsened. Rebekah Brooks, the former head of the company's UK paper business, was arrested on Sunday and top policeman Paul Stephenson quit over the scandal.

With five days remaining before President Barack Obama's deadline for a deal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling, Republicans and Democrats have yet to agree on a big plan to cut the nation's deficit and raise its debt limit in time to avoid an unprecedented U.S. default. Efforts to reach a comprehensive deficit-reduction deal are at an impasse over tax breaks as lawmakers -- with an eye on 2012 elections -- hold on to entrenched positions.

The euro fell while gold hit record highs on Monday as disappointment over financial health checks on European banks and escalating U.S. and euro zone debt problems sent investors scrambling for safe haven assets.

European stocks were down around 0.6 percent in morning trade, adding to last week's sharp losses, as banking stocks dropped after the region's stress test results published late on Friday failed to dispel investors' concerns over the potential impact from the region's sovereign debt crisis. <.EU>

On the earnings front, investors awaited results from Gannett Co, Halliburton, Hasbro , IBM, Charles Schwab, Stanley Black and Decker, Wynn Resorts and Zions BanCorp. .

Google's blowout quarter led the Nasdaq higher on Friday but mounting uncertainty about the government's ability to reach a debt-reduction deal may keep investors at bay in the coming week.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 42.61 points, or 0.34 percent, to end at 12,479.73. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gained 7.27 points, or 0.56 percent, to finish at 1,316.14. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> advanced 27.13 points, or 0.98 percent, to close at 2,789.80.

(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)