U.S. stock index futures rose on Monday, aided by easing sovereign debt concerns after euro zone finance ministers approved a massive emergency aid plan for debt-stricken Greece.
* The ministers signed off on a 30 billion euro ($40 billion) rescue package for debt-plagued Greece on Sunday, but stressed that Athens had not yet asked that the plan to be activated.
* Separately, a German government spokesman raised a potential hitch by saying European leaders would have to agree at a special summit to activate the aid mechanism.
* As the market looks to grab something fresh with respect to the robust aid package, more strings are apparently attached to the deal, said Andre Bakhos, director of market analytics at Lek Securities in New York.
* S&P 500 futures added 0.2 points and were above 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 gained 6 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 1.25 points.
* Earnings season gets underway after the close of trading, with Alcoa Inc
* With earnings season breaking the ice, investors are hoping that the prior quarter's momentum will carry the market forward, added Bakhos.
* UBS AG
* Also serving to boost futures was a fresh round of merger activity as Mirant Corp
* Mirant agreed to buy RRI Energy to potentially create one of the largest U.S. independent power producers and cut costs as the industry copes with weak electricity prices. Mirant shares rose 13 percent to $12.12 and RRI Energy gained 10.1 percent to $4.35 in premarket trade.
* Palm jumped 11.4 percent to $5.75 after Bloomberg News reported the company will seek bids as it tries to sell itself as early as this week, citing three sources.
* Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar Inc
* European shares edged up early Monday after the agreement on Greece.
* U.S. stocks rose Friday, with the Dow briefly surpassing 11,000 for the first time in a year and a half after Chevron Corp's
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)