Stock futures fell on Monday as Wall Street's attention shifted from central bank policy to the looming presidential debate.
S&P 500 futures were down 0.44%, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 0.48%, and Nasdaq futures slid 0.54%.
The first presidential debate will likely add some volatility on Monday as traders fret over Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's economic policies and how they could impact the global economy. Trump will join Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Hampstead, N.Y., for the debate hosted by ABC's Lester Holt. The presidential debate is the first of three scheduled before voters head to the polls on Nov. 8.
"There are two political footballs to keep your eyes on: health care and energy," Stephen Guilfoyle, chief market economist at Stuart Frankel & Co., wrote in a note. "Depending on who appears to come out on top tonight could provide direction to these two sectors. Energy is a regulation play, while health care becomes about the perceived success or failure of Obamacare. These two candidates have very different ideas on these two areas, and an upper hand on Tuesday morning for either candidate could provide movement."
The S&P 500 ended Friday with weekly gains of more than 1% after the Federal Reserve opted to hit pause again on interest rates. Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the case for a rate hike had strengthened, but opted for caution before pulling the trigger. Markets are now pricing in a December rate hike.
Technical analyst Helene Meisler of Real Money, TheStreet's premium site for active traders, wrote in her latest analysis that "unless the S&P can get itself up and over 2200 soon, the moving average line will at best flatten out and at worst roll over." You can check out her thoughts here.
Crude oil prices moved higher ahead of the three-day International Energy Forum. Major oil producers, including energy ministers from Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will convene in Algeria from Sep. 26-28 to debate solutions to the current oil crisis. A production freeze, rather than an output cut, looks like the most likely solution for producers to agree on. An agreement has so far been out of grasp with producers wary to cede market control even as prices tanked.
"Market participants will be looking for clues on whether Saudi Arabia and Iran are likely to come to an agreement with each other and some non-OPEC producers about curbing crude oil supply," said Fawad Razaqzada, technical analyst at FOREX.com. "The outcome of these meetings could have significant consequences for oil prices, which in turn should have strong influence on the direction of energy stocks."
West Texas Intermediate crude oil gained 1% to $44.95 a barrel on Monday morning.
Deutsche Bank (DB) - Get Report tumbled more than 6% in premarket trading on reports German Chancellor Angela Merkel wouldn't intervene in the bank's legal troubles with the U.S. Department of Justice. The Focus Magazine report also noted that Merkel would not offer state assistance to the bank. The U.S. Justice Department said earlier in the month that it may charge Deutsche Bank with a $14 billion fine for its alleged mortgage securities abuses.
Chemtura (CHMT) jumped 17% after synthetic rubber maker Lanxess (LNXSF) agreed to purchase the company in a deal worth $2.5 billion. Lanxess will acquire Chemtura for $33.50 a share in cash, which represents a premium of 18.9% to Chemtura's closing price on Sept. 23. Both boards have approved the deal, which should close by the middle of next year.
Pfizer (PFE) - Get Report fell 1% in premarket trading after opting against splitting into two publicly traded companies. The drugmaker said its best action was to manage its two units, Pfizer Innovative Health and Pfizer Essential Health, under the one Pfizer umbrella. The company said that splitting up "would not enhance the cashflow generation and competitive positioning of the businesses" and that the cost of separating would be "value destructive."