Stocks futures fell on Monday, pointing to a weaker start for Wall Street, on lingering concerns over fraud charges against Goldman Sachs weighing on investor sentiment.
Banking stocks are expected to be in focus, adding to weakness from Friday after Goldman Sachs was charged with fraud by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the structuring and marketing of a debt product tied to subprime mortgages.
Questions surrounding Goldman were increasing the chances of tougher reform of financial regulations as it was seized on by politicians in the U.S. and Europe as a reason for closer scrutiny or tighter rules for banks.
Investors will eye further quarterly corporate earnings, with Citigroup expected to post quarterly earnings before Wall Street opens. Investors expect the bank to post flat earnings per share (EPS) against a $0.12 fall in EPS a year earlier.
Among other firms reporting on Monday are IBM, Eli Lilly, Halliburton Co., Hasbro, M&T Bank Corp and Zions Bancorp . Goldman Sachs reports numbers on Tuesday.
*The S&P 500 breached a key technical level on Friday as uneasiness over fraud charges against Goldman curbed risk appetite and investors weighed the possibility of a big reversal in the U.S. stock market.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Sunday expressed confidence that lawmakers will bridge partisan differences on the overhaul of financial regulations and pass a bill that protects taxpayers from financing future bailouts.
Airline companies are also set to be in the limelight, as widespread disruptions swept across European airports due to volcanic ash cloud.
n Europe the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of top shares was down 0.6 percent at 1,088.72 by 4:11 a.m. ET, extending sharp falls from the previous session, with banks lower and airlines stocks featuring among the biggest decliners.
U.S. data set for release on Monday include the Conference Board's Leading Indicators for March, due at 10 a.m. ET.
(Reporting by Harpreet Bhal; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)