US Stock Futures Point To Lower Open Ahead Of Pending Home Sales Report, Corporate Earnings Report, Federal Reserve Meeting Beginning Tuesday

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U.S. stock index futures point to a lower opening on Monday, ahead of the publication of pending home sales data, manufacturing outlook for Texas from the Dallas Federal Reserve, and another round of quarterly earnings reports from U.S. companies.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 0.23 percent, while futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index were down 0.28 percent and those on the Nasdaq 100 Index were down 0.22 percent.

The National Association of Realtors' pending home sales index for June will be released at 10 a.m. EST. The home sales index, which measures the change in the number of homes under contract to be sold but still awaiting the closing transaction, excluding new construction, is likely to decline 1.4 percent in June after jumping 6.7 percent in the prior month.

The Dallas Fed’s manufacturing index, which measures manufacturing activity in Texas, is scheduled to be released at 10.30 a.m. EDT. The index is expected to show a reading of 6.4 for July, marginally down from 6.5 recorded in the previous month.

On the earnings front, Hertz Global Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HTZ), Simon Property Group Inc. (NYSE:SPG), American Capital Agency Corp. (NASDAQ: AGNC), Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: APC), Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (NYSE: HIG), Express Scripts Holding Company (Nasdaq: ESRX) and Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE: EMN) will report their quarterly earnings on Monday.

The investors are also likely tread with caution ahead of the two-day Federal Reserve policy meeting starting on Tuesday.

"We do not expect any modifications to the asset purchase pace or forward guidance at this meeting, but markets will be searching for clues about the future of QE3," according to a Bank of America-Merrill Lynch report released on Friday.

The bank's economists expect the Fed's tapering decision to be governed by economic data, according to a report released Sunday, which also noted that the possibility of a winding down of the asset-purchase program in September could be "a close call.”

European markets extended gains, on Monday, led by shares of Elan Corporation (NYSE:ELN), which rallied after an $8.6 billion acquisition deal with Perrigo Co. (NYSE:PRGO), while shares of Danone SA (EPA:BN) rose on a strong earnings report.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.24 percent, London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.31 percent, Germany's DAX-30 was up 0.35 percent and France's CAC-40 was trading up 0.33 percent. Shares of Elan surged 11.09 percent, while Danone shares rose more than 3 percent after the company maintained its full-year forecast and reported a 6.7 percent increase in revenues.

In Asia, most markets traded lower on Monday with Japan’s Nikkei closing down 3.32 percent as the yen strengthened against the dollar, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 ended up 0.09 percent. In China, the Shanghai Composite index ended down 1.72 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropped 0.54 percent.

South Korea’s KOSPI Composite index lost 0.57 percent and India’s BSE Sensex closed down 0.78 percent.

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