Stocks Droop After Moody’s Report

U.S. stock futures dipped on Monday after Moody’s Investors Service lowered its U.S. credit rating outlook to negative from stable.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrials faltered 38 points, or 0.1%, to 34,300.

Futures for the S&P 500 lost 8.5 points, or 0.2%, at 4,422.

Futures for the NASDAQ descended 32.75 points, or 0.2%, to 15,563.50.

The major averages are coming off their second consecutive week of gains. The S&P 500 rose 1.3% the previous week, while the Dow and NASDAQ gained about 0.7% and 2.4%, respectively.

Moody’s on Friday underscored the U.S.' “very large” fiscal deficits and partisan gridlock in Washington as contributing factors for the downgrade. The ratings agency reaffirmed America’s credit rating at AAA, the highest level. This comes three months after Fitch lowered the U.S. long-term foreign currency issuer default rating to AA+ from AAA, also citing expected fiscal deterioration, an increasing debt burden and political standoffs on fiscal and debt issues.

On the economic data front, investors will be keeping an eye on October’s monthly federal budget, as well as the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s October consumer expectations survey. Fed Governor Lisa Cook is also scheduled to give remarks Monday morning. This all comes ahead of the monthly consumer price index data on Tuesday.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 eked up 0.1% Monday, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng increased 1.3%.

Oil prices inched up 0.07 cents to $77.24 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained $3.60 to $1,941.30 U.S. an ounce.