MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks Face Another Down Day As Risk To Merkel Worries Investors

By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Euro tumbles vs. rivals after German coalition talks fall apart

Continue Reading Below

U.S. stock futures on Monday signaled some losses at the start of trading, as political uncertainty in Germany dented investors' appetite for riskier assets such as equities.

Trading volumes are likely to gradually thin out this week, given the runup to the Thanksgiving Day holiday on Thursday and the likelihood that no action will be taken in Washington on the U.S. tax plan until after the holidays.

What are the main benchmarks doing?

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 26 points, or 0.1%, to 23,290, while S&P 500 futures slipped 3.3 points, or 0.1%, to 2,573. Nasdaq-100 futures dropped by 6.75 points, or 0.1%, to 6,306.

On Friday, the Dow and the S&P 500 closed down 0.4% and 0.3%, respectively (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/weekly-win-for-us-stocks-in-jeopardy-as-russia-probe-moves-closer-to-trump-2017-11-17), and the Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.2%. The S&P and Dow logged a second straight week of losses as investors kept a close eye on the progress of the Republican tax cut plan.

Continue Reading Below

What are other assets doing?

The euro fell to as low as $1.1723 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/euro-plummets-as-uncertainty-in-germany-rattles-markets-2017-11-19) early Monday, after German governmental coalition talks broke down (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/merkels-future-in-doubt-as-german-coalition-negotiations-break-down-2017-11-19) on Sunday, leaving the country in limbo and casting doubt over Chancellor Angela Merkel's future as leader. The shared currency pulled back to $1.1803, on speculation that the FDP party is ready to support a minority government headed by Merkel, driven by a report in German newspaper Bild.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index was flat, while the German DAX 30 index eased back 0.2%. In Asian trading hours, the Nikkei dropped 0.6% as the euro's slide pushed up the yen , considered a haven in times of economic and political uncertainty.

Oil futures were little changed, while gold prices drifted south.

What are strategists saying?

"The caution from Asia is likely to rollover into European markets which are currently tussling with renewed political uncertainty, after German Chancellor Angela Merkel's failure to form a new government over the weekend," said Lukman Otunuga, research analyst at FXTM.

"With uncertainty over U.S. tax reforms and political risk in Europe eroding appetite for riskier assets, Wall Street could come under further selling pressure," Otunuga said in a note to clients.

Which stocks look like key movers?

Shares of Cavium Inc.(CAVM) could be active after a report Marvell Technology Group Ltd.(MRVL) is nearing a deal to buy the chip maker for about $6 billion (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/marvell-said-to-be-near-6-billion-deal-to-buy-chip-maker-caviun-2017-11-19). An announcement could be made as soon as Monday, according to sources, The Wall Street Journal reported (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/marvell-said-to-be-near-6-billion-deal-to-buy-chip-maker-caviun-2017-11-19).

Shares of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA) could be active after the e-commerce group said it will buy a 36% stake in China big-box retailer Sun Art Retail Group Ltd. (6808.HK) for $2.88 billion.

What economic data are due?

A report on leading economic indicators for October is scheduled for release at 10 a.m. Eastern Time.

Check out:MarketWatch's Economic Calendar (http://www.marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic)

Read:Fed speeches show readiness to raise rates next month, wariness about recession (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fed-speeches-show-readiness-to-raise-rates-next-month-and-a-wariness-about-next-recession-2017-11-17)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 20, 2017 05:14 ET (10:14 GMT)