December 23, 2018 / 11:14 PM / 6 months ago

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

Dec 23 (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 was off by about a quarter of a percent. Futures tracking the Nasdaq Composite Index and Dow Jones Industrial Average 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 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.

Reporting by Dan Burns

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