Stock index futures edged lower on Monday following last week's strong rally as Italy's credit downgrade and mixed data from China curbed investors' appetite for risky assets.

* M&A noise will remain at the forefront of investors' minds, with the Times of India newspaper reporting that AT&T Inc is considering buying a 25 percent stake in India's Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, a telecommunications venture controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, for $3.5 billion.

* Merck & Co will be in the spotlight after data released on Saturday showed unexpected serious side effects arose in a huge study of a long-acting niacin drug aimed at raising good HDL cholesterol, possibly adding another nail to the coffin of niacin therapy for heart patients.

* Wall Street commodity revenues crashed last year to their lowest on record, as tighter regulation and limited price swings squeezed the once dominant traders of Goldman Sachs Group Inc , JPMorgan Chase & Co and Morgan Stanley .

(Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)