U.S. stock futures retreat on Greek loan delay; Dow down 0.35%

Forex Pros - U.S. stock futures pointed to a lower open on Monday, after euro zone finance ministers postponed a decision on a Greek bailout package, adding to investors' nervousness over the region's debt crisis.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a loss of 0.35%, the S&P 500 futures declined 0.4%, while Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a drop of 0.38%.

With no economic data due Monday, markets remained focused on Greece's lingering debt woes and the threat of contagion to other highly indebted peripheral euro zone member states.

On Sunday, Euro Group finance ministers said that a new rescue package for Greece would be decided upon by early July and would be dependent on the Greek parliament passing a controversial austerity package.

Meanwhile, ratings agency Moody's said late Friday that it placed Italy's sovereign debt rating under review, pending a downgrade.

Shares in the financial sector retreated in pre-market trade, tracking their European counterparts lower. Bank of America saw shares slump 1.35%, Citigroup declined 1.2%, while U.S.-listed shares of National Bank of Greece tumbled 4.2%.

Meanwhile, shares in oil producers were broadly lower as crude prices slumped to a four-month low on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil majors Exxon-Mobil and British Petroleum slumped 1% and 1.2% respectively.

On the upside, shares in Harbin Electric soared 81.2% after it agreed to be acquired by private-equity group Abax Global Capital in a deal valued at USD750 million. The acquisition will result in the company going private.

Elsewhere, Boeing shares could be active after Qatar Airways placed a USD1.7 billion order for six Boeing 777 jets at the 2011 International Paris Air Show.

Other stocks in focus included PNC Financial Services Group. The retail banker said it would acquire the U.S. retail banking unit of the Royal Bank of Canada for approximately USD3.45 billion.

Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were sharply lower as shares in the financial sector led losses amid ongoing concerns over the region's debt crisis.

The EURO STOXX 50 tumbled 1.5%, France's CAC 40 dropped 1.25%, Germany's DAX sank 1.1%, while Britain's FTSE 100 slumped 0.9%.

During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index retreated 0.44%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 index was relatively unchanged, easing up 0.03% as concerns over the global economic outlook weighed.

There are no major economic data due for release on Monday. Markets will turn their focus to the Federal Reserve's policy statement due out on Wednesday, which will be followed up by Fed Chairman Bernanke's press conference.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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