Stock index futures rose on Monday, boosted by takeover news in the telecommunications sector and before a report on manufacturing activity that could give clues on the outlook for profits.
Canada's largest telephone company, BCE Inc., agreed to a US$32.8 billion buyout, excluding debt, from a group that includes the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan on Saturday, in the biggest buyout in Canadian corporate history.
And AT&T Inc. said late on Friday it will buy rural wireless communications services company Dobson Communications Corp. for $2.8 billion in cash. AT&T shares were up 1.1 percent in Europe.
The driver today is M&A activity over the weekend -- with the large potential buyout for BCE and also AT&T-Dobson. We're seeing some more of the private equity money, which had been in a bit of a lull and now it seems like it is heating back up again, said Owen Fitzpatrick, head of the U.S. equity group at Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management in New York.
S&P 500 futures were up 5.6 points, above fair value, a mathematical formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract.
Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 23 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 7.25 points.
Shares of Apple Inc. slipped 0.4 percent to $121.50 in trading before the bell as investors awaited details on how its hotly anticipated iPhone fared on the first weekend of sales. Earlier Apple rose 1 percent to $123.38 in electronic trading.
U.S.-listed shares of BCE Inc. rose more than 4 percent to $39.36 in electronic trading on Monday.
Concerns remained that credit problems arising from subprime mortgages could spread after the Wall Street Journal Online reported Bear Stearns Cos. may take until July 16 to tally losses at two struggling hedge funds that invested in risky mortgage-related securities. Shares of Bear Stearns fell 1.65 percent in Europe.
Geopolitical concerns were also at the forefront after Britain raised the threat level to its highest after failed car bombing attempts in London and an attack on a Scottish airport over the weekend.
Among other deals, Global Tower Partners, a U.S. wireless tower operator, is to be bought by a consortium of infrastructure funds managed by members of Australia's Macquarie Group from private equity firm Blackstone in a deal valued at $1.4 billion.
Shares of Kraft fell after the Financial Times reported the company is in talks to buy the biscuit unit of French foods group Danone. In Europe, shares of Kraft slid 1.5 percent.
A Reuters survey forecasts that ISM's June index of national factory activity will be unchanged at 55.0. The report is scheduled for 10 a.m. (1400 GMT).