NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock index futures were pointing to a softer start on Wall Street Monday, dragged down by the overall gloomy mood of the global markets.
Dow Jones Industrial AverageI:DJI futures were down 47 points, or 27.74 points below fair value. S&P 500I:GSPC futures were off 8 points, or 6.45 points below fair value. NasdaqI:IXIC futures were down 18 points, or 15.89 points under fair value. U.S. stock markets mostly finished mixed Friday with the Dow ending at a record and booking a weekly gain as Alibaba (BABA) - Get Reportshined in its IPO debut.
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Banyan Partners' chief market strategist Robert Pavlik said although the S&P 500 is up about 8.8% for the year, the market hasn't yet reached a top. In the short-term, there's still more room to run, given that many investor uncertainties have been alleviated. Such uncertainties include soft, historical trading patterns for September, geopolitical issues, the
medium-term policy outlook, and selling associated with investors freeing up cash for the Alibaba IPO, Pavlik said.
Although some worries about an early rate hike are creeping back in and impacting certain sectors such as utilities, consumer staples and telecoms, Pavlik said in the long run a higher interest rate environment will be good for the economy; it would encourage banks to lend more and spur consumer action.
"For the remainder of 2014 I'm still optimistic and I continue to position my client's portfolios with a focus on growth that will arrive as the U.S. returns to a more normalized interest rate environment," said Pavlik.
China's slowing industrial momentum, along with rising fears about leverage in the Chinese economy, was behind a broad slump in the European and Asian markets Monday, with mining stocks leading the way on falling gold, silver, copper and iron ore prices. The SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) - Get Report was off 0.29%. The FTSE 100 in London was down 0.86%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index retreated 1.44% to 23,955.49 and China's Shanghai composite plunged 1.7% to 2,289.87.
Chinese finance minister Lou Jiwei reportedly said Sunday that the government has no plans to change its current policy just because the figures are weak. In London, an even bigger faller weighed on sentiment, after Tesco (TSCDY) , the U.K.'s largest retailer, suspended four executives and launched an accounting investigation after admitting that its half-year profit was overstated by 250 million pounds ($407 million).
Existing U.S. home sales for August will be published at 10 a.m. EDT. At 10:05 a.m., New York Fed President William Dudley will be speaking at a conference in New York.
In other top corporate headlines on Monday, Germany's Merck said it will acquire Sigma-Aldrich (SIAL) for $17 billion in cash. Merck said the combined companies will be able to serve life science customers in a supply chain that can support the delivery of more than 300,000 products to life science customers around the world.
AutoZone (AZO) - Get Report posted mixed fourth quarter earnings of $11.28 per diluted share, compared to the $11.26 analysts estimated. Revenue for the quarter was $3.05 billion, beating analysts' expectations of $3.07 billion. Shares were down % in early market trading.
-- By Andrea Tse and Kurumi Fukushima in New York