U.S. stock index futures pointed to a sharp slide on Wall Street on Monday as a resurgent U.S. dollar drove a pullback in the prices of oil and other commodities.
Shares of energy, mining and other natural resource companies were likely to be among the top drags. Before the bell, the Select Sector SPDR Energy ETF
A decline on Wall Street would extend a global sell-off that tripped equity markets in Asia overnight and had European stocks falling about 2 percent, or more, as the appetite for riskier assets ebbed.
We have a stronger dollar, and that's putting pressure on commodities, and that's weighing on the market early on, said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon Partners in New York.
S&P 500 futures slipped 11 points, and were below fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures shed 99 points, while Nasdaq 100 futures declined 16 points.
While the recent run-up in commodities helped equities add to their recovery from the 12-year lows of early March, there has also been concern that a continued surge in commodity prices would stoke inflation pressures and hamper an economic recovery.
Even if the pullback weighs on the market, some investors might see it as a bit of a relief, more so after oil topped $73 a barrel last week. Higher energy costs are a drag on consumer spending and corporate profitability.
Monday's economic diary is light and the initial spotlight be on gauge of manufacturing in New York State due at 8.30 a.m.
Cardillo added that the contested outcome of the Iranian elections could heighten geopolitical risk and add to the challenges facing the Obama administration.
I think what we are headed for is a bumpy ride as we get through the economic data. The Iranian situation could be a major test for Obama, and I also believe it could be a test for the oil market.
U.S. front-month crude declined 82 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $71.14 a barrel, but traders kept a close watch on OPEC member Iran, where contested election results sparked a weekend of violent protests.
In broker research news, Goldman Sachs downgraded Wal-Mart Stores Inc
Shares of Wal-Mart, a Dow component, fell 1.5 percent to $49.11 before the bell.
The dollar rose broadly, boosted by comments from Russia's finance minister expressing confidence in the U.S. currency, and as investors continued to take profits on other currencies that climbed sharply early last week.
Since its March 9 low, the benchmark S&P 500 has risen about 40 percent.
(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)