Premarket futures hinted at a tepid open for stocks in New York as investors braced for the kickoff of fourth-quarter earnings reports.

Futures for the

S&P 500

were down 2.3 points at 883.20 and were 3.98 points below fair value.


futures were up 0.5 points at 1222 and were 1.5 points below fair value.

The most recent jobs data and news of more layoffs across industries weighed on stocks Friday. For the week, the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

lost 4.8%; the S&P gave up 4.4%; and the Nasdaq retreated 3.7%.

But this week investors will focus on earnings as the first batch of fourth-quarter reports dribble in, starting with


(AA) - Get Report

after Monday's market close.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters are expecting Alcoa to report a loss of 10 cents a share.


(CVX) - Get Report



(WMT) - Get Report



(INTC) - Get Report

tempered expectations last week, shaking investor confidence. And Alcoa and


(BA) - Get Report

announced they would cut thousands of workers in an effort to better handle the economic downturn.

Shares of


(UBS) - Get Report

were in retreat early Monday on reports that the bank will announce record full-year losses next month.

Late Friday afternoon,


(C) - Get Report

announced that

Robert Rubin

, senior counsel and a director at the bank, was resigning. The former Treasury Secretary has come under fire over the past two months for his role in encouraging the New York bank's foray into toxic debt that has laid waste to its balance sheet.

In possible further changes for the bank,


also reported that Citigroup and

Morgan Stanley

(MS) - Get Report

are in talks about merging their brokerage businesses.

In commodities, oil was gold was declining $2.38 at $38.45, while gold was down $15.90 to $839.10.

The dollar was stronger against the euro and pound, and weaker against the yen.

Overseas, the FTSE in London and the DAX in Frankfurt were both edging lower Monday, while Japan's Nikkei Hong Kong's Hang Seng ended with losses.

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