Stock index futures were higher on Monday following four weeks of equity losses as stocks rebounded globally, led by defensive shares.

European stocks gained 1.6 percent, with defensive sectors such as pharmaceuticals, telecommunications and utilities leading a rally following last week's sharp losses. The MSCI world equity index <.MIWD00000PUS> rose 0.7 percent. <.EU>

Equities have been pressured by growing concerns about the economy, given a rash of weaker-than-expected data and the ongoing sovereign debt crisis in Europe.

The S&P has fallen more than 13 percent so far in August, and recent volatility has resulted in six days over the past two weeks where the index has fallen at least 4 percent. Some investors believe the speed and size of the drop suggested the market could be oversold.

S&P 500 futures rose 13.5 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 added 108 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 31.75 points.

Libyan government tanks and snipers put up scattered, last-ditch resistance in Tripoli on Monday after rebels swept into the heart of the capital, raising hopes the government of Muammar Gaddafi might be toppled soon.

The end of Gaddafi's rule could restart the flow of Libyan oil onto the market. Tensions in the Middle East, and a spike on oil prices, contributed to equity weakness earlier this year. September U.S. crude futures rose 1.1 percent. Gold rallied toward $1,900 an ounce.

About 45,000 striking Verizon Communications Inc employees were set to go back to work on Tuesday after the two sides reached an agreement to resume bargaining.

Earnings season is drawing to a close, with H.J. Heinz Co , Applied Materials Inc and Tiffany & Co slated to report later this week. No S&P companies were scheduled to report on Monday.

While a majority of S&P components have topped expectations, the quarterly reports have often not been enough to offset larger macroeconomic concerns.

Wall Street ended a fourth straight down week, with losses of more than 1 percent on Friday as most buyers left the market before the weekend. Growing fears of another U.S. recession and destabilization in Europe's financial system weighed on investors' minds.

(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)