Market Snapshot: U.S. stock futures drop as China trade data spark fresh global economic worries

U

.S. equities were looking at a potentially downbeat start to the week, as stock futures tumbled Monday on weaker-than-expected China trade data that has sparked fresh concerns over a global economic slowdown.

How are major benchmarks faring?

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures YMH9, -0.76%  slid 183 points, or 0.8%, to 23,769, while S&P 500 futures ESH9, -0.76%  fell 20.10 points, or 0.8%, to 2,575. Nasdaq-100 futures NQH9, -0.96% dropped 76 points, or 1.2%, to 6,547.25.  

On Friday, The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.02% fell 5.97 points to 23,995.95, while the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.01% slipped 0.38 point to 2,596.26. The Nasdaq Composite Index NQH9, -0.96% shed 14.59 points, or 0.2%, to 6,971.48.

For the week, the Dow rose 2.4%, the S&P 500 gained 2.5%, and the Nasdaq rallied 3.5%.

Read: The most important skill traders need isn’t when to buy—it’s when (and what) to sell

What’s driving the market?

Appetite for perceived riskier assets such as stocks took a hit Monday, after data showed weak China imports and exports for December, which underpinned worries of a slowdown in the global growth engine. And China’s trade surplus with the U.S. soared to a fresh record of $323.32 billion in 2018, while the two countries continue to try resolving those differences.

Earnings season will kick off on Monday, with Citigroup Inc. C, +0.44%  scheduled to report ahead of the bell. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. JPM, -0.48%  , Wells Fargo & Co. WFC, +0.25%  , BlackRock, Inc. BLK, -0.40%  , Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS, +0.53%  and Netflix Inc. NFLX, +3.98%  are a few of the other big companies due to report this week.

Read: Citigroup is up first as big banks kick off fourth-quarter earnings season

Investors are jittery ahead of the start of the fourth-quarter earnings reporting season after high- profile warnings from Apple Inc. AAPL, -0.98%  and others.

Brexit concerns will rise to the forefront this week as U.K. lawmakers get ready to vote on Prime Minister Theresa May’s divorce deal with the European Union Tuesday. U.K. opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said Sunday the Labour Party will push for a general election if Parliament rejects May’s deal, and that he might force a vote of no-confidence “soon.”

How are other markets trading?

Asia markets were mostly weaker, led by a 1.6% drop in Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, -1.38%  . Futures data pointed to a weaker session for European stocks as well.

A risk-off atmosphere also drove down oil prices, with West Texas Intermediate crude CLG9, -1.14%  for February down 1.5% to $50.82 a barrel. Gold GCG9, +0.29%  was bid slightly higher, up 0.2% to $1,291.60 an ounce, and the ICE Dollar Index DXY, -0.04%  was steady at 95.584.

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