Market Morning: Global Weakness

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were lower and European stocks declined ahead of a summit at which eurozone leaders are expected to approve a permanent rescue fund for the region.

Meanwhile, talks to avert a debt crisis in Greece are ongoing and a deal between the debt-laden country and its private creditors is reportedly tentative.

Asian stocks closed lower Monday. Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.5% to finish at 8,793.05, while South Korea's Kospi and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index also posted losses.

U.S. stocks finished mixed Friday as good consumer sentiment data failed to offset a disappointing read on gross domestic product.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 74.2 points, or 0.6%, to 12,660. The S&P 500 fell 2.1 points, or 0.2%, to 1,316, and the Nasdaq finished in positive territory, up 11.3 points, or 0.4%, to 2,817.

On the U.S. economic calendar Monday is personal income and spending for December at 8:30 a.m. EST. The consensus is for a 0.4% increase in personal income and a 0.1% rise in personal spending, according to

Switzerland's ABB said Monday it reached an agreement to buy electrical parts maker Thomas & Betts ( TNB) for $3.9 billion.

Thomas & Betts is being bought for $72 a share, a 24% premium to its closing price Friday of $57.95.

Citigroup ( C) Chairman Richard Parsons is considering stepping down after three years in the post, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation.

Parsons, 63 years old, is expected to decide by early March, these people said.

Regardless of his decision, the bank expected to keep the posts of chairman and CEO separate, the newspaper said.

Bank of America ( BAC) plans to change the leadership structure of its investment-banking business, the Journal said.

The bank plans to name Christian Meissner to be sole head of investment banking, according to the report from the newspaper.

The move would change the current structure, in which Meissner, Michael Rubinoff and Paul Donofrio are co-heads of global corporate and investment banking, the report said. That structure was put in place last April.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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