The U.S. stock index futures point to a lower open Monday as investors await for the euro zone finance ministers meet later in the day for further discussions on a crucial bailout payment for Greece.
The futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 0.22 percent, the futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index were down 0.28 percent and those on the Nasdaq 100 Index were down 0.19 percent.
Market participants turned their attention to Greece as euro zone finance ministers are set to meet again later Monday in order to continue the negotiations on Athens’s next tranche of bailout. After nearly 12 hours of talks in Brussels last Tuesday, the euro zone finance ministers failed to arrive at a consensus that would unblock the next tranche of financial aid. Investors are hoping that the ministers will approve the much-needed funds to save the debt-laden Greece from bankruptcy as it has adhered to the requirements mandated for provision of aid.
"There is optimism around in regards to the euro area's ability to achieve a deal on Greece," Emma Lawson, senior currency strategist with the National Australia Bank, told Reuters.
Meanwhile, investors focus also returned to the U.S. fiscal cliff resolution as fiscal cliff talks involving President Barack Obama and the U.S. congressional leaders are set to resume this week. Investors are optimistic that there will be some sort of an agreement for averting the impending fiscal cliff. Both the White House and the Republicans have been upholding the perception of a compromise, as opposed to a deadlock in the fiscal talks.
On the economic front, reports on the U.S. new home sales, durables goods orders, personal income and spending for the month of October, the second revision on the U.S. Gross Domestic Product for the third quarter will be released in the coming week and is expected to provide further signs of improvement.
U.S. stocks surged in holiday-shortened trading session Friday. All the three major indices gained more than 1.3 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 172.79 points and closed above 13,000 for the first time since the Presidential election.
European stock markets are currently trading lower with FTSE 100 down by 12.47 points, DAX30 down by 7.02 points and CAC 40 down by 18.05 points.
Asian stock markets appeared mixed Monday, as Japanese Nikkei gained 0.24 percent and Indian BSE Sensex advanced 0.17 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 0.24 percent and Chinese Shanghai Composite fell 0.49 percent.