After an atypically weak showing Monday, at least by recent standards, stocks look set to continue with the downtrend as investors ruminate on Black Friday sales numbers, and brace for a host of big-ticket data releases later this week.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, or DJIA, were down 0.24 percent, while futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index were down 0.21 percent, and those on the Nasdaq Composite Index were down 0.08 percent.
On the data front, auto sales numbers for November are scheduled to be released during the day. Later in the week, Wednesday has data on new home sales and the trade balance, while jobless claims and GDP data are due on Thursday. And, data on unemployment for November is expected to be released on Friday.
Expectations of key U.S. data releases later this week kept the pressure on stocks in Europe, which were down steeply. The Stoxx Europe 600 index was trading down 0.78 percent and the FTSE 100 was down 0.73 percent while Germany’s DAX-30 was down 0.84 percent and France's CAC-40 was down 1.46 percent.
In Asia, markets were again mixed with Japan’s Nikkei, helped along by a weaker yen, ending up 0.6 percent while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.44 percent. The Shanghai Composite index was up 0.69 percent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was down 0.53 percent. South Korea’s KOSPI Composite index was down 1.06 percent while India’s BSE Sensex ended the day down 0.21 percent.