S&P futures open lower to kick off holiday-shortened week

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., December 21, 2018. REUTERS/Bryan R Smith

(Reuters) – U.S. equity index futures dropped late Sunday as electronic trading resumed to kick off a holiday-shortened week following reports over the weekend that President Donald Trump has privately discussed firing the head of the U.S. Federal Reserve.

In early trading, the benchmark S&P 500’s emini futures contract ESv1 was off by about a quarter of a percent. Futures tracking the Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC and Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI were lower by similar amounts.

With investors worried over the U.S.-China trade dispute and interest rate hikes by the Fed, U.S. stocks have plunged in December, with the S&P 500 .SPX suffering its largest monthly loss so far since the financial crisis a decade ago. It is also on pace for the largest loss in any December since the Great Depression.

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