Wall Street was set for a slightly higher open on Monday after a sharp decline Friday, as strong German factory data eased concerns about a wobbly European economy and the S&P looked for support at a key technical level.
German industrial orders jumped far more than expected in April, adding to signs that Europe's largest economy was on the path to durable growth.
Traders also pointed to critical support levels for the S&P 500 in the wake of Friday's sell-off in the absence of U.S. economic and earnings news. The index has tumbled 12.5 percent since its April 23 high for the year.
On Friday, the S&P 500 fell below 1,070, which was considered a support level for the index and closed just below the intraday low the market reached during the so-called flash crash on May 6.
We are making a concerted effort to hold on here, said Peter Kenny, managing director at Knight Equity Markets in Jersey City, New Jersey.
The market may overcome this technical support we have found, but right now that is what the market is pinning its hopes on this morning. Is there any likelihood that we can reverse the global trend here in the United States. Can this be the bulkhead for a move higher globally?, he said.
S&P 500 futures rose 1.5 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 27 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 5.75 points.
Apple Inc shares gained 1 percent to $258.44 in premarket trading ahead of what is widely expected to be the unveiling of its newest iPhone on Monday.
U.S.-listed shares of BP Plc gained 3.6 percent to $38.48 premarket after the company said it was capturing most of the oil gushing from its gushing Gulf of Mexico well, and that an additional capture system would be ready in mid-June.
Oceaneering International Inc slipped 1.8 percent to $42.10 premarket after the company cut its earnings outlook, citing a U.S. government's decision to halt deepwater drilling activities in the Gulf of Mexico after the mammoth spill.
In merger news, Spain's Grifols SA agreed to buy Talecris Biotherapeutics Holdings Corp , which produces plasma-based protein therapies, for $3.4 billion in a move to expand its business in blood products. Talecris jumped 49.9 percent to $23.85 in premarket trade.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co's rose 6.8 percent to $23.96 premarket after a study found its experimental drug ipilimumab extended survival in patients with deadly skin cancer.
Reliance Communications Ltd and AT&T Inc have talked about the U.S. telecommunications giant taking a significant minority stake in the Indian company, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)