U.S. stock index futures pointed to gain at the open on Monday after the worst 3-day slide in 10 months following fears a White House plan to curb risk-taking by banks would cut profits.
Embattled U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke edged closer to winning support for a second term after the U.S. Senate Republican leader predicted confirmation. Bernanke's prospects appeared shaky last week, when two Senate Democrats announced their opposition, contributing to the equity sell-off.
Earnings season continues with tech stocks in focus because of reports from Apple Inc
Wall Street is breathing a sigh of relief as it appears Bernanke will be reconfirmed, removing the uncertainty about who will be the gate-keeper at the Fed, said Andre Bakhos, president of Princeton Financial Group in North Brunswick, New Jersey.
There's also some early-week optimism for good numbers in the earnings season, which could shed some light onto the state of the consumer.
S&P 500 futures gained 6.9 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 surged 65 points, while Nasdaq 100 futures added 5.75 points.
Sam's Club, the warehouse club division of Wal-Mart Stores Inc
Results from Halliburton Co
December U.S. existing home sales data is due at 10 a.m. <1500 GMT> from the National Association of Realtors. Sales are forecast to fall month-over-month by 10 percent to an annual rate of 5.9 million units.
If home sales come in significantly below expectations, we could see our gains erode, Bakhos said. The market has been hyper-sensitive to data, especially important numbers like this.
In overseas trading, Japan's Nikkei average <.N225> hit a four-week closing low on Monday, with exporters such as Toyota Motor Corp <7203.T>
Markets erased gains for the new year last week, with the Dow dropping 4.1 percent, the S&P 500 losing 3.9 percent and the Nasdaq tumbling 3.6 percent. It was the worst week for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq since October and the worst week for the Dow since March.
(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)