Stock Market Today: Japan’s Surprise Recession Weighs on U.S. Stock Futures

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were trading lower on Monday, weighed down by the announcement Japan had dipped into recession again in the third quarter.

Third-quarter GDP fell 1.6% in the world's third-largest economy, a contraction which may push Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to delay a planned sales tax increase.

Japan's Nikkei tanked nearly 3% following a record run of seven-year highs after the Bank of Japan announced new stimulus measures in October. Hong Kong's Hang Seng and China's Shanghai Composite also tumbled, while European markets, which have been hit with recessionary fears of their own, fell slightly.

Pessimism surrounding global markets extended to the U.S. in early trading Monday. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 0.15%, S&P 500 futures were down 0.22% and Nasdaq futures were trading flat.

Stocks closed mixed on Friday, though managed to eke out a fourth consecutive week of gains. The Dow closed lower and the S&P barely higher as investors measured better-than-expected retail sales against worries that European economic woes would continue to drag on global growth.

The Empire State manufacturing index recovered from a 6-month low in October, recording a reading of 10.16 in November. However, economists had forecast a reading of 11 in the survey of New York State manufacturers. 

Halliburton (HAL) was dominating business headlines on Monday after agreeing to buy fellow oilfield services provider Baker Hughes (BHI) for $34.6 billion. Since rumors that a deal was in the works emerged Thursday, Halliburton has added 3.5% and Baker Hughes is up nearly 18%.

Allergan (AGN) shares were adding 4.2% in premarket trading on whispers the pharmaceutical company could receive an acquisition bid from Actavis (ACT) shortly. Actavis shares were unchanged.

Alibaba's (BABA) smaller rival JD.com  (JD) was spiking 2.6% after reporting a 61% jump in quarterly sales, while Tyson Foods (TSN) added more than 4% after beating earnings estimates.

--Written by Keris Alison Lahiff in New York. 

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