Stocks were lower early Monday as economic jitters lingered ahead of this week's reports on wholesale and retail inflation.
Index futures recently showed the
trading 1.5 points below fair value, while the Nasdaq 100 was set for a 3-point decline. The 10-year Treasury bond was down 1/32 in price to yield 4.98%, while the dollar rose against the yen and euro.
A handful of economic reports will guide trading this week, including the producer price index on Tuesday and the consumer price index on Wednesday. Also,
Chairman Ben Bernanke will speak publicly three times in the next four days, starting today at Georgetown's Stonier Graduate School of Banking.
Data released last week helped cement beliefs that the Fed will raise official interest rates by another quarter point when it meets later this month. Fed funds futures are currently pricing in an 84% chance of a June 29th rate hike, which would be the 17th increase in as many meetings and leave the rate at its highest level since March 2001.
Hawkish talk from several Fed members led to losses for stocks last week, with the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
losing 3.2% to 10,892, the S&P 500 falling 2.8% to 1252, and the
off 3.8% to 2135.
Overseas markets were mostly lower Monday, with London's FTSE 100 down 0.6% to 5622 and Germany's Xetra DAX losing 1.1% to 5406. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei rose 0.6% overnight to 14,833, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.1% to 15,721.
Oil firmed ahead of a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna where Iran's nuclear program will be discussed. In electronic Nymex trading, July crude rose 54 cents to $72.17 a barrel. Among other commodities, gold fell $2.10 to $610.70 an ounce, while copper lost 7.5 cents to $3.26 a pound.
To view Ana Dane's video take on today's premarket action, click here
Another factor for oil was Tropical Storm Alberto, which was last reported about 320 miles southwest of the Florida keys with sustained winds of about 50 mph. Alberto is the first named storm of the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season, which goes from June through November.
will be the first of four big Wall Street brokerages to report second quarter earnings. It will be followed over the next several days by
Wall Street was busy updating stock research Monday. At Citigroup,
was cut to hold from buy based on valuation, while at First Albany
was raised to buy from hold.