U.S. Stock Futures Drop on Recession Fears

Premarket futures were hinting at a lower open for U.S. stocks Monday as traders continued to worry about the extent and duration of a potential global recession.

Futures for the S&P 500 were down 30 points at 836 and were 40 below fair value. Nasdaq futures were down 33 points at 1158 and were 47 short of fair value.

On Friday, stocks closed on the downside as funds continued a forced liquidation of their investments and traders grappled with growing fears of a worldwide economic downturn.

Ahead of Monday's session, the Financial Times Web site reported that Goldman Sachs ( GS) chief Lloyd Blankfein approached Citigroup ( C) head Vikram Pandit about a merger. Pandit turned down the proposal, which was made in September, the report said.

The state of the U.S. automakers was once again looking precarious. Bloomberg reported that General Motors ( GM) requested support from the Treasury Department to help it merge with Chrysler.

As for corporate earnings, telecom services provider Verizon ( VZ) is slated to report before trading begins.

Looking at the day's economic data, the Census Bureau is expected to roll out its new home sales figures for September.

In the realm of commodities, crude oil was losing $2.11 to $62.04 a barrel. Gold was giving back $14.20 to $716.10 an ounce.

Longer-dated U.S. Treasury securities were rising in price. The 10-year was up 20/32 to yield 3.61%, and the 30-year was gaining 1-4/32, yielding 4.01%.

The dollar was continuing the wild swings seen on Friday, making big gains against the euro and pound but taking sharp losses vs the yen.. The euro was down 1.3% to $1.24, and the pound was plummeting 3.3% to $1.53. Against the yen, the dollar was sliding 2.1%.

Abroad, European exchanges, including the FTSE in London and the DAX in Frankfurt, were taking heavy losses. Asian markets, such as Japan's Nikkei and Hong Kong's Hang Seng, closed on the downside.

( Photo gallery: Trading Faces)