Stock index futures rose on Monday, feeding bullish hopes that the recent selling would ebb after last week's wild swings took the S&P 500 near a one-year low.
The New York Federal Reserve is due to release its Empire State manufacturing survey for August at 8:30 a.m. EDT, while the National Association of Home Builders housing market index for August is expected at 10 a.m. EDT.
Data showed Japan's economy shrank less than anticipated in the second quarter as companies made strides in restoring output following a devastating earthquake and tsunami. The data boosted Asian equities, with the Nikkei closing up 1.4 percent.
The Japanese news, while not overly encouraging, was another datapoint showing things are not nearly as bad as the selloff seemed to suggest, said Rick Meckler, president of investment firm LibertyView Capital Management in New York.
This is an extremely jittery market, just looking to avoid significant bad news, he said. I would expect there to be less volatility than we saw last week.
S&P 500 futures rose 6.5 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration of the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures gained 34 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 7.75 points.
European shares were little changed as investors focused on Tuesday's meeting between France and Germany to deal with the current financial crisis in the region.
On the earnings front, Lowe's Cos Inc shares fell 4.6 percent to $18.62 after it reported weaker-than-expected quarterly sales and cut its fiscal-year outlook for the second time in three months as homeowners put off big renovations in an anemic U.S. economy.
The Lowe's forecast could be significant to the market as it is trying to look at how the recent (economic) weakness affects consumers, Meckler said.
Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc jumped more than 60 percent to $39.20 premarket on Google Inc's offer to buy the mobile digital communication services company for about $12.5 billion in cash. Google fell 2.8 percent to $548.12.
Bank of America Corp will exit the international credit card businesses as it sells its Canada business to TD Bank Group. The U.S. lender's shares gained 3.3 percent to $7.43 premarket.
Estee Lauder Cos Inc and Sysco Corp also reported quarterly results early Monday. Investors also awaited results from Agilent Technologies Inc.
To underscore the volatility last week, the S&P 500 hit a low near 1,101, its lowest since September 2010 and also managed to record its first two-day rally since mid-July.
U.S. stocks closed one of the most volatile weeks on record. A relative drop in volume and lighter intraday swings suggested a decline in investor anxiety.
The CBOE volatility index closed at its highest on a weekly basis since May 2010.
(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)