Stock index futures were higher on Monday on expectations that rising commodity prices and a downtick in the U.S. dollar would boost stocks in the energy and materials sectors.

The healthcare sector is in focus after a broad healthcare bill passed a crucial test in the U.S. Senate early on Monday, as Democrats put together enough votes to clear a key procedural hurdle in approving President Barack Obama's top legislative priority.

The dollar index <.DXY> edged 0.3 percent lower, while February crude gained nearly 1 percent to top $75 per barrel.

Investors will keep an eye on Dubai after debt-ridden conglomerate Dubai World did not ask creditors for a standstill on its $22 billion debt at a meeting on Monday, adding to uncertainty for investors who have been in the dark for weeks.

S&P 500 futures rose 5.8 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, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 10.5 points.

Jabil Circuit Inc , Walgreen Co and ConAgra Foods Inc are expected to report quarterly results on Monday.

General Motors said Sunday it would evaluate several new expressions of interest for its Swedish Saab unit, including a fast-track bid from thwarted Dutch suitor Spyker Cars .

Pfizer Inc
, the world's biggest drugmaker, is buying the rights to a stem-cell therapy to treat inflammatory bowel disease from Athersys Inc .

Terex Corp , the world's third biggest maker of heavy earth-moving equipment, is selling its mining business for $1.3 billion in cash to mining equipment maker Bucyrus International Inc , the companies said Sunday.

French group Safran SA and General Electric Co won a multibillion dollar deal to provide the power plant for China's new C919 plane, Safran said Monday.

Japan's exports rose by the most in seven years on signs of a pickup in demand from China, easing fears that Japan would slip back into recession next year.

U.S. stocks rose Friday in choppy trade as quarterly results from Oracle Corp and Research In Motion Ltd lifted the Nasdaq more than 1 percent, but the U.S. dollar's climb curbed gains in both the Dow and the S&P 500.

(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)