Stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Wall Street on Monday as weak growth in Japan added to worries about the strength of the global economy that have hit equity markets in recent days.

In the latest sign the recovery may lag expectations, Japan's economy grew below forecasts at just 0.1 percent in the second quarter. The tepid data pressured Asian equities and the weakness fed into European trading.

A gauge of manufacturing in New York state rose in August after dropping in July, the New York Fed said. But the Empire State index was below expectations, while the new orders component index fell below zero for the first time since June 2009, an early sign of a slowdown.

The overall picture is of an economy that continues to slow globally, said Marc Pado, U.S. market strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald & Co in San Francisco.

Pado said investors have yet to fully mark down the economic weakness and pointed to low trading volumes. A sharper fall on higher volumes has yet to come, he said. He pointed to technical support for the S&P 500 in the 1,069 to 1,057 range.

S&P 500 futures fell 2.1 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 dipped 12 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures fell 2.25 points.

Last week, U.S. stocks posted their worst performance in six weeks after a downbeat assessment of the economy from the U.S. Federal Reserve rattled investors, sending equity markets lower and safe-haven bonds sharply higher.

Home improvement chain Lowe's Cos Inc missed quarterly profit and sales estimates as benefits from a homebuyer tax credit and cash-for-appliances programs waned. Still, the shares rose 2.8 percent to $20.13 in premarket trading.

At 10:00 EDT the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) issues its housing market index for the same month. Economists see the NAHB index at 15 for August, versus 14 in July.

European shares slipped 0.5 percent after two straight winning sessions, led lower by financials. The Nikkei index closed down 0.6 percent, recovering from an early drop of as much as 1.7 percent

(Reporting by Edward Krudy; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)