Futures begin February on a dour note after weak Chinese data

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange January 26, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermidThomson ReutersTraders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

By Tanya Agrawal

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures were lower on Monday, starting February on a dour note after the worst January for the S&P 500 since 2009.

* Weak economic data from China, which showed that the world’s second-largest economy’s manufacturing sector contracted in January at the fastest pace since 2012, will exacerbate concerns regarding a China-led global slowdown.

* Oil prices fell after China data added to worries about demand and an OPEC source played down talk of an emergency meeting to stem the decline. Oil prices have fallen more than 70 percent since mid-2014.

* Slammed by collapsing oil prices that have fed doubts about the health of the global economy, stocks have had a volatile start to the year with traders expecting the Fed to scale back the number of rate hikes this year.

* Wall Street surged over 2 percent on Friday after the Bank of Japan unexpectedly cut interest rates and technology shares rallied.

* A slew of U.S. economic reports is scheduled to be released on Monday, including manufacturing and consumer spending numbers.

* The reports follow a weak reading of the GDP, which showed that the U.S. economy expanded at only 0.8 percent in the fourth quarter.

* Investors will pay close attention to U.S. Federal Reserve vice-chairman Stanley Fischer’s speech on the central bank’s recent monetary policy at an event at 1 p.m. ET (1 p.m. ET).

* Fourth-quarter corporate reporting season is well under way, with S&P 500 companies on average expected to post a 4.1 percent drop in earnings, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

* Internet giant Alphabet , which reports after the bell, was up 0.9 percent at $767.97 in premarket trading.

* Chipotle Mexican Grill was up 4.5 percent at $473.20 after the Wall Street Journal reported that an E. coli outbreak that affected the burrito chain’s customers last year may be declared as over as soon as Monday.

Futures snapshot at 7:23 a.m. ET:

* Dow e-minis were down 104 points, or 0.64 percent, with 40,081 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis were down 13 points, or 0.67 percent, with 242,020 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 25.75 points, or 0.6 percent, on volume of 37,162 contracts.

(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Don Sebastian)

Read the original article on Reuters. Copyright 2016. Follow Reuters on Twitter.

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