Current Futures: Dow -5.00, S&P -1.00, NASDAQ +0.50

European markets are closed this morning, as continental Europe celebrates Labor Day. The only exception is the U.K., which dropped slightly below the break-even line, on light volume. U.S. futures also traded on a very light volume, while Asian markets closed higher.

The main driver in the Asian session was the news that Chrysler will reorganize under the bankruptcy laws. This, in turn, dragged higher Asian car-manufacturers, which are likely to take chunks from Chrysler’s market share. In addition, commodity stocks advanced as the price for metal and other raw materials advanced.

Later today, a report is expected to show that the U.S. manufacturing sector contracted again in April, however, at a slower pace. The ISM Manufacturing Index is expected to come in at 38.4, much lower than the 50.0 point benchmark level, which divides growth from contraction. In the last 17 months, the ISM manufacturing index recorded a read above the 50.0 point level only once. Furthermore, during the U.S. session, the quarterly results from Chevron, Mastercard and the Washington Post will be released.

Overnight, the Nikkei rose 149.11 points (1.69%) to 8,977.37. The Australian S&P/Asx lost 10.90 points (0.29%) to 3,769.60. In Europe, the U.K. Ftse fell 8.50 points (0.20%) to 4,235.21, while the German Dax was closed for business.

Crude oil for May delivery was recently trading at $50.60 per barrel, down $0.45.

Gold for May delivery was recently trading down $6.60 to $884.60.