U.S. stock index futures rose on Monday after Schlumberger Ltd agreed to buy Smith International for $11.34 billion in stock and Lowe's Co. posted better-than-expected earnings.
Schlumberger's move should set a positive early tone to the market adding confidence that the economy is on the road to recovery, said Andre Bakhos, president of Princeton Financial Group in North Brunswick, New Jersey.
Schlumberger's shares fell 5.6 percent to $60.30 in premarket trade while Smith International rose 7.2 percent to $40.40.
S&P 500 futures rose 3.3 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 rose 19 points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 7 points.
Five former Treasury secretaries urged Congress on Sunday to bar banks that receive federal support from engaging in speculative activity unrelated to basic bank services, adding weight to calls for increased regulation of the financial sector.
President Barack Obama will pitch his bid to revamp the U.S. healthcare system as a way to control big insurance company rate increases when he releases his healthcare plan on Monday, the White House said. Healthcare reform has been a wildcard for markets.
U.S. stocks rose on Friday as investors took the Federal Reserve's discount rate increase as evidence that the financial system is healing but worried that the eventual withdrawal of easy money will hurt Wall Street.
(Reporting by Edward Krudy; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio)