NEW YORK -
Stock index futures edged lower on Monday following last week's strong rally as Italy's credit downgrade and mixed data from China curbed investors' appetite for risky assets.
* On Friday the S&P 500 climbed for a sixth straight day, putting it less than 1 percent from an all-time closing high. On a weekly basis, it rose for the ninth week out of the last 10. All three major U.S. stock indexes racked up their biggest weekly gains since the first week of the year.
* European shares dipped in morning trade as investors digested a credit downgrade for Italy and on-going political uncertainty in Rome.
* China's uneven economic recovery signals a looming dilemma for policymakers as official data released at the weekend showed inflation at a 10-month high in February while factory output and consumer spending were weaker than forecast.
* S&P 500 futures fell 2.5 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 fell 12 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 5.5 points.
* M&A noise will remain at the forefront of investors' minds, with the Times of India newspaper reporting that AT&T Inc
* Merck & Co
* Wall Street commodity revenues crashed last year to their lowest on record, as tighter regulation and limited price swings squeezed the once dominant traders of Goldman Sachs Group Inc
* U.S. stocks closed out a historic week with another day of gains on Friday, as the Dow hit yet another record closing high on a payrolls report that surpassed even the most optimistic forecasts.
(Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)