* Futures down: Dow 15 pts, S&P 2.25 pts, Nasdaq 2.25 pts
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
April 17 (Reuters) - 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 gathered pace.
* 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 missile test.
* 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 the news.
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 Anil D‘Silva)