U.S. stock futures slip from record levels as Chinese data, Afghanistan situation take spotlight

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U.S. stock futures declined on Monday, as weaker-than-forecast Chinese economic data cast a pall on market sentiment.

What’s happening

  • Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average
    YM00,
    -0.22%
    declined 77 points;

  • Futures on the S&P 500
    ES00,
    -0.21%
    declined 0.2%;

  • Futures on the Nasdaq Composite
    NQ00,
    -0.13%
    slipped 0.1%.

Last week, the S&P 500
SPX,
+0.16%
tacked 0.7% and registered its 48th record close of 2021. The Nasdaq Composite
COMP,
+0.04%
registered a 0.1% decline, its second fall in three weeks.

What’s driving markets

Data released out of China showed retail sales, industrial production and fixed-asset investment all rising slower than forecast. “The slowdown is now plain for all to see. The delta outbreak and return of shutdowns across China isn’t helping either of course,” said Arne Petimezas, senior analyst at AFS.

The disappointing data from the world’s second-largest economy came after a Friday report showing a stunning drop in U.S. consumer sentiment. A report on New York-area manufacturing is due for release on Monday.

News headlines were also focused on the situation in Afghanistan, where the Taliban has swiftly taken power after the withdrawal of U.S. forces, leading some to wonder if political fallout will extend beyond foreign policy.

“For [President Joe] Biden, the developments in Afghanistan have created some unwelcome headlines just as further progress was being made on his economic agenda, with the Senate passage of the infrastructure bill with bipartisan support last week,” said Henry Allen, strategist at Deutsche Bank.

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