Stock index futures rose on Monday after four straight positive sessions for Wall Street, as global stocks hit 10-month highs on hopes that the U.S. economy will soon start to recover from recession.
U.S. stocks ended last week at 2009 highs after a surprising rise in home sales and optimistic comments from Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke reassured investors about the prospects for an economic recovery.
There's not a great deal of economic data or new news, so I think the biggest driver in today's market, at least in the early trade, is momentum and that momentum is positive, said Art Hogan, chief market analyst at Jefferies & Co in Boston.
You don't want to get in the way of this rally. It is happening whether you like it or not, whether you believe in its fundamentals, and there's not much around to stop it today.
S&P 500 futures rose 3.1 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 gained 38 points while Nasdaq 100 futures added 2.0 points.
Elsewhere, the MSCI world equity index rose 0.8 percent to reach levels not seen since early October.
Crude oil futures rose 0.3 percent to $74.10, adding to gains after settling at a 10-month high on Friday, supported by expectations that an economic recovery would spur demand for oil.
However, Nouriel Roubini, one of the few economists who accurately predicted the magnitude of the world's recent financial troubles, sees a big risk of a double-dip recession, according to an opinion piece posted on the Financial Times Web site on Sunday.
On the economic data front, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago releases its Chicago Fed National Activity Index for July at 8:30 a.m. EDT. The index read -1.8 in June. At noon, the Chicago Fed will also release its Midwest Manufacturing Index for July. The index read 78.1 in June.
Quanta Computer, the world's largest contract laptop PC maker, forecast stronger-than-expected growth Monday, further boosting hopes that tech demand is returning as the global economy recovers.
U.S. regulators Friday closed Texas lender Guaranty Bank and sold its assets to Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, allowing Spain's second-largest bank to expand its reach in the U.S. market.
(Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)