HSBC's preliminary reading of Chinese manufacturing activity fell to a seven-month low in February. A survey of European purchasing managers also came in weaker than analysts were expecting.
On the U.S. economy, the government is set to report the monthly consumer price index, its key measure of inflation, at 8:30 a.m. ET. It will also release its weekly report on initial jobless claims.
Investors will also have plenty of corporate news to digest when the markets open.
Still, analysts for Goldman Sachs (Fortune 500) said they believed the acquisition made strategic sense because it "will help drive increased engagement." They rate Facebook a "buy." ,
Tesla ( shares could )surge by roughly 12% when trading opens after the company reported much stronger than expected profits and forecast it will sell 55% more vehicles this year than last.
Shares in BAE Systems ( were down by about 10% in London after the defense contractor warned that U.S. budget cuts would hurt earnings in 2014. )
Safeway (Fortune 500) shares could also move up after the supermarket chain's management announced they are in talks to sell the company. ,
Wal-Mart (Fortune 500), , DirecTV (Fortune 500) and , Actavis (Fortune 500) are set to report quarterly earnings before the opening bell. Actavis shares soared earlier this week when it said it would buy , Forest Laboratories ( for $25 billion. )
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