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U.S. stock futures were slightly lower. A smattering of reports, including manufacturing numbers, construction spending and auto sales, are due out later in the morning. Also on tap for later this week is the highly anticipated monthly jobs report.
These numbers are particularly important to investors, as many believe that employment figures will likely be part of the equation when the Federal Reserve decides whether it will announce more quantitative easing at its Sept. 12-13 policy meeting.
In his speech last week, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke indicated that additional stimulus could be on the way, saying that the central bank is still willing to do whatever it takes to support the economy.
Meanwhile, Europe will once again be in focus after Moody's warned that the European Union's Aaa credit rating was at risk. Moody's revised its outlook on the EU to "negative" from "stable."
As Eurozone leaders return from summer holidays, investors are bracing for several key events in the euro area this month, starting with a crucial meeting of the European Central Bank on Thursday.
ECB President Mario Draghi is widely expected to unveil details of a new bond-buying program for eurozone governments that agree to certain conditions. But it remains to be seen if Draghi, who many view as the euro's savior, will meet investors' high expectations.
U.S. stocks finished higher Friday following a bounce from Bernanke's speech.
Chinese manufacturing contracted for the first time in nine months, adding pressure on Chinese government authorities to take steps to reverse the slowdown.
Economy: The Institute for Supply Management's ISM Manufacturing Index for August will be released at 10 a.m. ET Tuesday. The index is expected to come in at 50.0, according to a survey of analysts by Briefing.com, up from 49.8 in July.
Also on tap for Tuesday morning, the Census Bureau will release figures for July construction spending, which is expected to have risen by 0.5%.
Automakers will report data throughout the day for August sales.
Smithfield Foods (Fortune 500) reported earnings of 40 cents per share, coming in bellow analyst expectations. The company cited growth in its packaged meat business, but poor performance of its fresh pork business dragged on profits. ,
Shares of Facebook ( were slightly higher in premarket trading. The social network's stock )hit a new low on Friday.
Oil for October delivery rose 60 cents to $97.07 a barrel.
Gold futures for December delivery added $8 to $1,697.70 an ounce.
Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury rose, pushing the yield sharply lower to 1.56% from 1.62% late Friday.
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|Overnight Avg Rate||Latest||Change||Last Week|
|30 yr fixed||3.77%||3.60%|
|15 yr fixed||2.88%||2.74%|
|30 yr refi||3.76%||3.58%|
|15 yr refi||2.88%||2.73%|
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