* Fears of global swine flu outbreak hit stock futures
* Whirlpool Q1 profit falls
* Futures down: S&P 17.60, Dow 144, Nasdaq 19.50
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures
pointed to a more than 1 percent drop at the open Monday as
investors worried that a possible global flu outbreak could
throw a wrench into the economy's ability to climb out of a
Governments around the world moved Monday to contain the
spread of a possible flu outbreak, as a virus that has killed
over 100 people in Mexico spread to the United States and
"Right now it's putting a dent in the market and will
continue to serve as a fear factor," said Andre Bakhos,
president of Princeton Financial Group in Princeton, New
"Until some visibility arrives on where this is going and a
greater study of the implications, it will weigh on the
Whirlpool Corp, the world's biggest appliance
maker, reported lower first-quarter profit as sales were hurt
by the global slowdown.
Other companies scheduled to report quarterly earnings
include Verizon Communications Inc, the No. 2 U.S. phone
company, and wireless chip supplier Qualcomm Inc.
The Obama administration is due to release the results of a
government stress test on 19 major financial institutions on
May 4, but some of the results are expected to start trickling
out this week.
Auto industry shares, notably General Motors Corp,
are seen in focus after news over the weekend that GM, in an
effort to secure the government funding it needs to stay in
business, was expected to announce a fresh round of cost
cutting on Monday.
Rival automaker Chrysler LLC showed signs of
progress on Sunday with its unionized workers in a battle to
stay alive with just days left to complete deals to slash labor
and debt costs or face bankruptcy.
S&P 500 futures fell 17.60 points and were below
fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into
account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the
contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures lost 144
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures slid 19.50 points.
Stocks rallied Friday as earnings showed companies have
weathered the recession, and economic data raised hopes the
economic cycle may have hit a bottom.
(Reporting by Leah Schnurr)
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