U.S. stock futures were down steeply on Monday morning and suggest a lower open for markets, ahead of the release of the federal budget after the opening bell, and another round of quarterly earnings statements from U.S. companies.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 0.33 percent, while futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index were down 0.6 percent and those on the Nasdaq 100 Index were down 0.49 percent.

The U.S. Treasury is likely to release the federal budget numbers for the month of July, at 2:00 p.m. EDT. Economists expect the treasury budget -- a monthly account of the surplus or deficit of the federal government -- to post a deficit of $90 billion in July, following a surplus of $116.5 billion that was posted in June, mainly due to payments made by government agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

However, the treasury budget for the month of July typically posts a deficit. And, over the past 10 years, the average deficit for July has been $89 billion, and the deficit in July 2012 stood at $69.9 billion, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.

On the earnings front, a number of major companies, including Credicorp Ltd. (NYSE:BAP), InterOil Corporation (NYSE:IOC), SINA Corp (NASDAQ:SINA and SYSCO Corporation (NYSE:SYY) are expected to report quarterly earnings, on Monday.  

European markets also were trading significantly lower on Monday, with the Stoxx Europe 600 index down 0.39 percent, London’s FTSE 100 down 0.42 percent, Germany's DAX-30 was down 0.98 percent and France's CAC-40 was trading down 0.52 percent.

In Asia, however, most markets ended higher after the South China Morning Post reported, on Monday, that Beijing was “quietly offering financial stimulus” to support growth in China’s key cities and provinces.  

In China, the Shanghai Composite index rallied 2.39 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 2.13 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rallied 1.06 percent and South Korea’s KOSPI Composite index added 0.22 percent.

Japan’s Nikkei ended down 0.7 percent, after data released by the government on Monday showed that the country’s economy grew at a slower-than-expected rate of 2.6 percent for the second quarter ended June, down from 3.8 percent growth recorded in the previous quarter.  

India’s BSE Sensex was trading up 0.65 percent in late-afternoon trade. Data released by the Indian government, on Monday, showed that exports rose to $25.83 billion in July, up 11.64 percent from the previous month. However, the trade deficit for July remained almost unchanged at $12.27 billion and below analysts’ forecast of $13.8 billion.