Stock index futures rose on Tuesday, positioning Wall Street to recoup the rest of last week's losses, as upbeat quarterly results from Home Depot Inc bolstered hopes the economic downturn was easing.

With oil prices approaching $60 a barrel, shares of energy companies including Exxon Mobil Corp were poised to be among the big gainers.

Stronger-than-expected quarterly profit from Home Depot , the world's largest home improvement chain, were seen as further evidence the recession-hit economy was stabilizing and the housing sector might be on the mend.

On Monday, U.S. stocks recovered more than half of their losses following their worst week in two months. Home Depot was among the strong gainers, along with rival Lowe's Cos Inc , which boosted its outlook.

In early March we had priced in a depression. We've now realized that we're not going into a depression, said Matt McCall, president of Penn Financial Group in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Now we're starting to realize that the recession is waning, and we're seeing money coming in for a recovery.

S&P 500 futures rose 4.90 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 climbed 40 points, while Nasdaq 100 futures shot up 4 points.

U.S. front-month crude oil jumped 1.7 percent to $60.01 a barrel in electronic trade.

Before the bell, bank shares were higher after sources said Goldman Sachs Group Inc , Morgan Stanley and others have applied to repay billions of dollars they borrowed under the U.S. government's bailout plan.

McCall said the banks' potential repayments may be a signal the worst of the financial crisis is over.

The S&P 500 has climbed from a 12-year closing low on March 9, rising 37.4 percent through the close on May 8. But the benchmark index gave up some ground last week amid profit-taking and disappointment with April retail sales, shaving off 5 percent from its run-up.

At Monday's closing it had regained some ground, finishing up 34.5 percent from the March low.

(Reporting by Ellis Mnyandu; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)