US STOCKS-Futures slump as oil prices fall further

martes 2 de febrero de 2016 08:19 GYT

* Futures down: Dow 120 pts, S&P 15 pts, Nasdaq 34 pts

By Tanya Agrawal

Feb 2 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were lower on Tuesday after oil prices resumed their downward spiral, hit by worries about weak demand and rising supply.

* Oil prices were down about 3 percent as hopes for a deal between OPEC and Russia on output cuts faded with Goldman Sachs saying it was "highly unlikely". Oil has fallen more than 70 percent since June 2014.

* Investors were also concerned about a China-led global economic slowdown and the pace of rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve. The S&P 500 has fallen 5.1 percent this year.

* Adding to concerns, consumer saving from cheap gasoline prices have failed to translate into higher spending as U.S. consumers increase their savings and choose to pay down debt rather than buy big-ticket items.

* Traders expect the Fed to scale back the number of rate hikes this year. They are pricing in only a 17-percent chance that the Fed will raise rates in March, according to CME Group's FedWatch.

* Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer's remarks on Monday seemed to calm some investors regarding the pace of future hikes. Fischer said the U.S. economy could suffer, with inflation remaining too low, if recent volatility in financial markets persists and signals a slowdown in the global economy.

* Fourth-quarter S&P 500 earnings are expected to have fallen 4.1 percent from a year earlier, according to Thomson Reuters data. The estimate has improved since last week.   Continuación...