Bonds News

U.S. stock index futures point to drop at open

* U.S. stock index futures pointed to losses in early trade on Wall Street on Monday, trimming the previous session’s gains as investors awaited news on a potential bailout of the stricken auto industry and ahead of a Fed two-day policy meeting.

* Investors were also cautious ahead of results from Goldman Sachs GS.N and Morgan Stanley MS.N, due on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.

* At 0930 GMT S&P 500 March futures SPc2, Dow Jones futures DJc2 and Nasdaq 100 futures NDc2 were down 0.6 to 0.9 percent.

* The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to cut interest rates to a record low after it concludes a two-day policy-setting meeting on Tuesday. Twelve of 16 U.S. primary dealers polled by Reuters expect the Fed to cut the key federal funds rate by 50 basis points, which would bring it down to 0.5 percent.

* The White House said on Friday the administration would consider using part of the Treasury’s $700 billion bailout package for financial institutions to keep the U.S. Big 3 automakers afloat after a bailout legislation failed in the Senate. However, U.S. President George W. Bush said on Monday an announcement on a rescue for the embattled sector was not imminent.

* On the macro side, Japan reported its sharpest drop in business sentiment in three decades on Monday and industrial output in China grew at its slowest pace since 1999, the latest signs of the damage done to Asian economies by the global crisis.

* The banking sector will also be in focus after a number of European banks, including Royal Bank of Scotland RBS.L, France's BNP Paribas BNPP.PA and Spain's Santander SAN.MC announced billions of dollars in exposure to an investment fund run by Bernard Madoff, the U.S. investor accused of running a $50 billion "Ponzi" scheme. [ID:nLF622535]

* Mining shares could find support in rallying metal prices, helped by fresh hopes for the rescue of the auto sector, as well as by China’s blueprint for more economic stimulus measures.

* Oil bounced $1 to above $47 a barrel on signs that OPEC members are set to make a deep supply cut when the oil cartel meets later this week, in an effort to prop up prices.

* Economic indicators on tap on Monday include the New York manufacturing survey, due at 1330 GMT, and the National Association of Home Builders housing market index, due at 1800 GMT.

* U.S. companies expected to report quarterly results on Monday include ABM Industries ABM.M.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI is down 35 percent in 2008, but has gained 16 percent since reaching a bottom on Nov 21, while the Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX is down 40 percent this year, but up 19 percent since Nov. 21. (Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Hans Peters)