Stock index futures opened lower on Sunday after major indexes closed mixed in Friday's session when the S&P was flat, the Dow held onto gains propped up by financials and the Nasdaq fell as healthcare and biotech stocks sold off.
Tonight, Dow futures were down 58 points, or about 0.36% in New York, and S&P 500 E-mini futures declined 0.39%. Nasdaq 100 E-mini futures fell 0.38%. The U.S. Dollar Index (.DXY) was relatively unchanged.
Over the weekend, it was reported that Claren Road Asset Management co-founder and co-chief investment officer John Eckerson has decided to retire at the end of the year, sources told the Journal.
And deal news came from Australia's telecommunications sector, with Vocus Communications saying Monday it agreed to an all-share merger with rival M2 Group, the Journal reported.
Not many companies report earnings this week, so we're also watching data reports that could influence the Federal Reserve's decision on when to raise rates.
On Monday, personal income, personal spending and U.S. pending home sales data will be released. Expectations are for a slight increase across the board month over month. Home sales have been strong, and spending has been stronger thanks to lower gas prices, TheStreet's Jim Cramer said. But income has been stagnant, something the Fed should consider, he said.
Vail Resorts (MTN) reports earnings and Cramer expects good results, which could bring investors back into the struggling sector.
"A strong Vail number might have Action Alerts PLUS name Starwood (HOT), which is trying to bottom, get back on its game," Cramer said.
On Tuesday, Workday (WDAY) and General Electric (GE) host analyst days. Cramer expects to hear good things from both. He also expects impressive earnings results from Diamond Foods (DMND) and Costco Wholesale (COST).
On Wednesday, Chicago PMI data will be released. Cramer expects this data to show that manufacturing is weakening. Paychex (PAYX) reports earnings and the stock could get an extra boost on a good report because a rate hike would benefit the company. Box (BOX) hosts its analyst day and Cramer is looking forward to a good showing from management, but is unsure the meeting can move the stock in the right direction.
On Thursday, Clorox (CLX) and Dunkin' Brands (DNKN) also host analyst days. Both of these stocks closed up over 2% on Friday, so keep an eye on them. McCormick (MKC) and Micron (MU) report earnings, too, and Cramer isn't expecting a great showing from the latter.
On Friday, the nonfarm payrolls report will be released, which will be an important factor in the Fed's decision on when to raise interest rates.
Separately, Barron's cover story focused on caring for aging parents, showing how private banks are increasingly being sought out for specialized programs like Eldercare Planning Services.
And for some stock picks, Barron's featured several auto suppliers whose shares look cheap after being pulled lower on fears of exposure from the Volkswagen (VLKAY) debacle. Volkswagen shares have plunged more than 30% since Sept. 17 when the company was first accused of cheating on emissions tests in the U.S.
Among the names to watch are BorgWarner (BWA), which is down 10% since Sept. 17, Delphi Automotive (DLPH), Harman International Industries (HAR) and Gentex (GNTX), which are each down 7-8%. All look likely to outperform the market over the next year, Barron's said.
For even more information on data and earnings in the week ahead, you can reference The Street's weekly earnings calendar.