Stock Futures Slip Amid Economic Worries

U.S. stock futures edged lower, pulling back from the sharp gains seen at the end of last week, as investors digested recent signs of lackluster economic growth.

European markets erased early gains to trade little changed, with some downbeat industrial production data weighing on sentiment.

About 90 minutes ahead of the open, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures slipped 27 points, or 0.2%, to 15712. Last week, the Dow rose 354 points over the last two sessions, the biggest two-day gain in four months, to erase Monday's 326-point tumble and snap a two-week losing streak.

S&P 500 index futures eased four points, or 0.2%, to 1790 and Nasdaq 100 futures gave up two points, or 0.1%, to 3556. Changes in stock futures don't always accurately predict stock moves after the opening bell.

Despite last week's turnaround, the Dow was still down 4.7% on the year and the S&P 500 was 2.8% below its record high seen Jan. 15. Investors have been grappling with concerns over slowing economic growth at a time with the Federal Reserve paring back on extreme stimulus measures, and recent turbulence in emerging markets. Data on Friday seemed to add to those concerns, as U.S. employment growth data were weaker-than-expected for a second-straight month.

"Investors appear to be accepting that the short-term volatility in the data doesn't call into question the gradually improving trend in the U.S. economy," said Ian Williams, economist and strategist at brokerage Peel Hunt.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note inched higher to 2.679% from 2.675% late Friday.

There were no major economic data scheduled for release on Monday. But later in the week, investors will be focusing on new Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen's testimony to Congress on Tuesday and Thursday, jobless claims and retail sales on Thursday and industrial production and consumer sentiment on Friday.

Joel Johnson, founder of JohnsonBrunetti Retirement & Investment Specialists, which oversees $300 million, said the market could remain volatile over the coming weeks as uncertainty over the economy and Federal Reserve policy hang over investors minds, but he recommends investors not to overreact to short-term market weakness.

"We're telling our clients, pullbacks can be expected, stay the course and don't expect what you saw last year," Mr. Johnson said, as the S&P 500 soared 30% in 2013. "Expect a little volatility. But overall, the economy will be in a better spot and the markets will be modestly higher this year."

Crude oil futures lost 0.4% to $99.47 a barrel, after settling Friday at a new high for the year, while gold futures gained 0.7% to $1,272.50 an ounce. The dollar lost some ground against the euro and the yen.

In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 was down less than 0.1% and was in danger of snapping a three-session winning streak. Industrial production in France declined more than expected in December, while production in Italy surprisingly fell on the month.

German's DAX 30 index gave up less than 0.1%, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 edged up less than 0.1% and France's CAC 40 ticked up 0.1%.

Emerging-market currencies were mostly lower against the dollar, but remained well above their weakest levels hit during the recent selloff, having recovered last week. The Turkish lira, South African rand, and Hungarian forint all fell against the buck

Asian markets were mostly higher as strength seen in the U.S. market carried over. China's Shanghai Composite rallied 2% to close at a five-week high and Japan's Nikkei Stock Average ran up 1.8%.

In corporate news, Hasbro slid 1% in premarket trading after the toymaker reported fourth-quarter earnings that missed analyst estimates, amid weakness in its boys' category.

Yelp rallied 8.9% after The Wall Street Journal reported that Yahoo will incorporate Yelp's listings and reviews of local businesses into search results. Yahoo's stock advanced 1.7%.