Stock futures are pointing lower as the dollar strengthens and commodities retreat.
The S&P 500 is indicated down by about 0.2 percent after a small pullback yesterday. The index touched a four-year high of 1474 on Friday but has been drifting lower after failing to hold that level.
International markets are down modestly across the board, with the German DAX and French CAC-40 shedding about 1 percent. Asian indexes fell slightly less in the overnight session.
The declines come despite modestly positive news from Europe, where Spanish bonds climbed in value and German investor confidence rose for the first time in five months. Attention now turns to the U.S. housing market, which will receive the news in the form of homebuilder confidence at 10 a.m. ET today, followed by housing starts and existing home sales tomorrow.
Stocks and commodities appear to be consolidating after large gains over the summer and as investors await more details on how Europe will solve its debt crisis. More news is expected on Thursday, with U.S. leading economic indicators and a speech by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi.
Commodities and foreign-exchange markets are also following a pattern of risk aversion. Oil is down by more than 0.3 percent while gold, silver, and copper fell by 0.5 percent to 1 percent. Agricultural foodstuffs are broadly lower as well.
The euro, Australian dollar, and Canadian dollar all declined against the U.S. dollar, which also tends to happen when commodities and stocks lose ground. The Japanese yen is stronger across the board, which is consistent with risk aversion.
In company-specific news, shipping giant FedEx issued weak earnings guidance and said it would seek to lower costs in response to weak demand. Advanced Micro Devices dropped about 5 percent after losing its chief financial officer, and office-furniture company HNI is down 12 percent after saying third-quarter profit would miss expectations.
Apple is also indicated to open above $700 for the first time ever after announcing that pre-orders of the new iPhone 5 had sold out.
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