US equity index futures point to marginal gains into this week’s open as New York looks to curb trade tensions between Washington and Beijing as President Trump sought to insulate talks with China over the US pursuit of a Huawei executive, on Sunday.

Trade-war anxiety added to uncertainty over future US interest rate policy which drove the S&P 500 down -4.6% last week, the biggest decline since March; the benchmark now, once again, positioned into negative territory for the year.

Friday’s session saw Wall Street buckle on selling pressure with global growth-exposed stocks turning sharply into negative territory.

The market had briefly traded higher after the open following job report data which showed US wage growth remaining healthy despite fewer jobs than expected being added in the month of November, despite this, shares were unable to hold their initial gains.

The S&P 500 finished -2.32% lower, having being forced to bare load of its worst daily performing sector, Technology, down -3.5%.

Among big tech names, many of which weighing heavily on the Dow, IBM (IBM: -3.69%), Intel (INTC: -4.4%), Apple (AAPL: -3.57%) and Microsoft (MSFT: -4%) all posted sharp declines.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped -2.17%, while the tech-driven Nasdaq fell -3.3% to wrap up the week.

In economic data; investors will look ahead to interpret JOLTs Job Openings figures set to be released at 10:00am ET.

On today’s earnings front; Casey’s General Stores (CASY) and Stitch Fix (SFIX) are expected to report their financials, after the close.

TODAY’S TOP HEADLINES:

Brexit: May to Delay Key Vote on Brexit Deal to Avoid Huge Defeat. (Bloomberg)
UK Prime Minister Theresa May is calling off a crucial vote in Parliament on whether to approve her Brexit deal, according to a person familiar with the situation.
The vote in the House of Commons to endorse the terms of the UK’s split from the European Union was due to be held on Tuesday evening but is now set to be rescheduled, according to the person who declined to be named.

Brexit: Europe’s top court confirms that UK can stop Brexit. (CNBC)
The European Court of Justice said Monday that the UK can cancel Brexit without asking for permission from other European Union (EU) member states.

China & Politics: Huawei CFO seeks bail on health concerns. (CNBC)
The CFO of China’s Huawei Technologies argued that she should be released on bail while awaiting an extradition hearing, citing her longstanding ties to Canada, properties she owns in Vancouver and fears for her health while incarcerated, court documents showed on Sunday.

ECONOMIC CALENDAR:
Today’s Economical Announcements

10:00AM – JOLTs Job Openings (Oct) (Previous: 7.009M)

STOCKS IN THE SPOTLIGHT:
Pre-Market Movers & News Related Stocks

Nutrisystem (NTRI): [BUYOUT] Agreed to be bought by Tivity Health (TVTY) for $1.3 billion in cash and stock.

Visteon (VC): [DOWNGRADE] Downgraded to “sell” from “neutral” at Goldman Sachs, which expects an upcoming business update from the auto parts maker to be a negative catalyst for the stock.

FedEx (FDX): [DOWNGRADE] Bank of America downgraded FedEx to “neutral” from “buy”, and cut its price target to $220 per share from $304.

Yelp (YELP): [NEWS] Shareholder, SQN Investors, is planning to send a letter to the online review company’s board pushing it to add new members and to consider all options to get Yelp back on track, including a sale.

Facebook (FB): [BUYBACK] Facebook increased its stock buyback authorization by $9 billion, on top of a previously authorized $15 billion.

Gilead Sciences (GILD): [NEWS] Named Roche executive Daniel O’Day as its new chief executive officer as of March 1, 2019.

Travelport (TVPT): [BUYOUT] Agreed to be acquired by affiliates of Siris Capital Group and Evergreen Coast Capital for $15.75 per share in cash, or about $4.4 billion.

Universal Display (OLED): [NEWS] Sees its stock join the S&P MidCap 400 as of today. It replaces restaurant operator Sonic, which has been acquired by Inspire Brands.

WageWorks (WAGE): [UPGRADE] Upgraded to “market outperform” from “market perform” at JMP Securities, which cites a number of positive factors for the benefits administrator including valuation.

Papa John’s (PZZA): [NEWS] Papa John’s founder John Schnatter has engaged a financial adviser to help him review alternative for increasing shareholder value, according to an SEC filing.

Tesla (TSLA): [NEWS] CEO Elon Musk told “60 Minutes” he does not respect the SEC, and that as largest shareholder in the automaker he can do anything he wants even if a new chairman is brought in.

Deutsche Bank (DB): [NEWS] A potential merger between Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank would have the approval of Germany’s finance ministry, according to a Bloomberg report.

MOMENTUM STOCKS:

GAINERS: –
LOSERS: UNFI, BIG, HOME, LULU, ULTA, SIG, BHF

TODAY’S IPOs:

None.