Stock index futures pointed to a sharply lower open for equities on Wall Street Monday, with futures for the S&P 500, for the Dow Jones and for the Nasdaq 100 down 1.2 to 1.3 percent.

Electricals retailer Best Buy Co Inc will pay $1.3 billion to buy its British partner Carphone Warehouse Group Plc out of a fast-growing U.S. mobile phone venture, while abandoning plans for a chain of European megastores.

General Motors is on track to double its annual tally to 5 million vehicles in China by 2015 despite slowing growth in the world's largest auto market, its China chief said.

The Conference Board releases at 10 a.m. ET its employment trend index for October. In the previous report, the index read 101.0.

The Federal Reserve will issue consumer credit numbers at 3 p.m. ET. Economists forecast consumer credit to rise $5 billion, versus a $9.5 billion drop in August.

CME Group and IntercontinentalExchange Inc moved over the weekend to limit the fallout from the MF Global Holdings Ltd bankruptcy on futures markets by lowering margin requirements on some accounts.

European shares fell 1.7 percent in early trade on Monday as concerns shifted to Italy and whether Rome can avoid being dragged further into the euro zone debt crisis.

A critical Italian parliament vote on Tuesday to debate austerity cuts has become a test of Prime Minister Berlusconi's government, with the opposition also preparing a motion of no confidence in the leader.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou sealed a deal with the opposition on a crisis coalition to approve an international bailout, but details remain thin despite an EU ultimatum for Athens to get serious about tackling its problems.

Euro zone finance ministers will speed up work on strengthening their bailout fund to enhance its market credibility by the end of November, a month early, as concern grows about Italy, euro zone officials said.

U.S. stocks fell on Friday, ending four weeks of back-to-back gains. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 61.23 points, or 0.51 percent, to 11,983.24. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index lost 7.92 points, or 0.63 percent, to 1,253.23. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 11.82 points, or 0.44 percent, to 2,686.15.

(Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by David Holmes)