Opening calls are indicating a lower open this morning.
Indices in Asia are trading lower in the current session.
On the first trading day of the fourth quarter, investors will be simultaneously attempting to gauge the fate of Europe’ weighty debt problems and the health of the global economy.
Investors will watch to see whether all 17 members of the European Union will ratify the bailout fund that’ seen as Greece’ lifeline to at least temporarily avoid defaulting on its debt.
The third quarter ended on a sour note leaving investors skittish ahead of Monday’ opening bell. Stocks fell Friday, capping the biggest quarterly drop for the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq since the fourth quarter of 2008.
The Dow lost 12% in the quarter, marking its worst quarterly performance since the first quarter of 2009.
Events this week
Monday: Wall Street will get the latest ISM manufacturing index, as well as construction spending figures from the Commerce Department.
Economists expect the ISM index will fall to a reading of 50.5 from last month’ 50.6. Any reading above 50 indicates that the sector is expanding. Construction spending figures are expected to decrease 0.5%, following a 1.3% decrease last month.
Major auto manufacturers will also report auto sales for September.
Tuesday: Fed chairman Ben Bernanke will be discussing the outlook for the economy in front of the Joint Economic Committee of Congress in the morning.
In the afternoon, Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) is holding an event where it is widely expected to unveil the iPhone 5.
YUM! Brands (YUM, Fortune 500), the owner of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, will report earnings after the closing bell.
Wednesday: Investors will get the ADP private employment report at 8:15 a.m. ET. Economists expect the private sector hired 48,000 workers in September, down from the 91,000 in the prior month.
Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas will also issue its report on planned job cuts for September.
Costco (COST, Fortune 500) and Montsanto (MON, Fortune 500) will report quarterly earnings ahead of the opening bell. After the close, hotel operator Marriott (MAR, Fortune 500) will report its quarterly earnings.
Thursday: The Labor Department’ closely-watched weekly initial jobless claims data comes out at 8:30 a.m. ET, with economists expecting claims to increase to a reading of 401,000 from last week’ 391,000 claims.
Friday: The week culminates with the Labor Department’ August jobs report, which will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists expect unemployment to stay steady at 9.1%. Payrolls are forecast to grow by 63,000 jobs in September. The economy added no new jobs in August.