Wall Street was setting up for a tough session on Monday, with U.S. stock futures under pressure as investors moved out of perceived riskier assets following a weekend of escalating tensions over Russia and Ukraine.
Futures for the S&P 500 index fell 19 points, or 1%, to 1,838.90, while those for the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 140 points, or 0.9%, to 16,172. Futures for the Nasdaq-100 index dropped 37 points, or 1%, to 3,658.
There is a handful of data to get through. Consumer income and spending ticked up by more than expected, but the savings rate remained flat. Read: How to see through the economic blizzard
The Institute of Supply Management’s February manufacturing index is due at 10 a.m. Eastern Time, while the Markit PMI index is expected an hour earlier. Car makers will be in focus on the release of February auto sales reports , which are forecast to be downbeat due to harsh wintry weather. Another storm is moving through the East Coast on Monday.
Otherwise, for investors, Monday will be all about geopolitical tensions and watching the headlines, said strategists.
When times are uncertain, buyers back away because they know short sellers, who know they can move the market easily, are willing to make bigger bets, said Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG, in a note. U.S. stocks finished mixed on Friday, but ended February with strong monthly gains, and the S&P 500 notched its 48th record close for the past year.
“Invariably, many will be buying these dips, but on an index level I would stand aside and wait for clarity to develop, as you know this market can go lower, very quickly, if geopolitics deteriorates and U.S. data doesn’t show any signs of a pickup,” Weston said.