* Futures down: Dow 15 pts, S&P 2.25 pts, Nasdaq 2.25 pts
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
April 17 U.S. stock index futures were slightly
lower on Monday as geopolitical concerns and weak economic data
weighed on sentiment, while the first-quarter earnings season
* U.S. retail sales fell for the second straight month in
March and consumer prices dropped for the first time in just
over a year, a report from the Commerce Department showed on
Friday. Wall Street was closed for the Good Friday holiday.
* The soft data added to an already downbeat sentiment in
the market after President Donald Trump's national security
adviser said the country, its allies and China were working on a
range of responses to North Korea's latest failed ballistic
* Mounting geopolitical tensions in the past week have
pushed investors into buying safe-haven assets. Gold prices hit
five month highs on Monday, while the dollar fell to a
five-month low as the safe yen rose.
* Investors are also keeping an eye on quarterly earnings to
justify pricey valuations of stocks. The first quarter is
expected to be strong, with earnings of S&P 500 companies
estimated to have risen 10.4 percent.
* Among key companies scheduled to report results on Monday
include Netflix and United Continental, which
became a subject of international outrage for dragging a
passenger from its plane.
* Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer is scheduled
to speak at an event in New York at 5:00 p.m. ET (2100 GMT) and
could offer his thoughts on the path to interest rate hikes and
the central bank's plans for its balance sheet.
* Shares of Incyte Corp plunged more than 13
percent to $121.95 premarket, while Eli Lilly dropped
5.2 percent after the U.S. FDA declined to approve a new drug
for rheumatoid arthritis made by the two companies.
* Shares of AbbVie and Pfizer, which
already have rheumatoid arthritis drugs in the market, rose on
Futures snapshot at 6:56 a.m. ET:
* Dow e-minis were down 15 points, or 0.07 percent,
with 12,153 contracts changing hands.
* S&P 500 e-minis were down 2.25 points, or 0.1
percent, with 61,341 contracts traded.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 2.25 points, or 0.04
percent, on volume of 12,721 contracts.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by