Futures edge lower on China data, Italy downgrade

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)