Concerns about the pace of the economic recovery in the U.S., the continuing foreclosure problems plaguing major banks and the falling industrial production of the country's factories put pressure on stock index futures Monday morning.
In the last week, four major banks grappling with foreclosure issues – Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase – saw nearly $50 billion in combined share value lost as investors hit the "sell" buttons.
Aside from a general slowdown in the housing market and the potential for fiscal losses, bad paperwork and possible fraud in the foreclosure process mean that there's a distinct possibility that banks will be forced to pay huge sums to mortgage-backed bond investors.
Elsewhere in the economy, Federal Reserve numbers showed that production fell by 0.2 percent in the month of September, a sign that the economy may be cooling down.
"It doesn't mean we'll see a lot more negative numbers, but the growth rates will be lower over the next few months," Harm Bandholz, chief U.S. economist at UniCredit Group in New York, told Bloomberg News. "The inventory cycle is losing momentum and the pickup in global growth has also started to slow down."
Dow Jones Industrial Average index futures dropped 21 points to 11,003, while S&P 500 index futures dropped 3.5 points to 1,171.5 at 9:33 a.m. EST. Nasdaq 100 index futures slipped 2.5 points to 2,092.50.
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