The U.S. stock index futures point to a slightly higher open Monday as investors await the outcome of the meetings between the Greek and European leaders this week to discuss reform measures needed to tackle the economic crisis in Greece.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.02 percent, those on the Standard & Poor’s 500 index were up 0.06 percent and the Nasdaq 100 index futures were up 0.08 percent.
Investors are likely to focus on the euro zone debt crisis as the Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras goes across Europe for meetings with European leaders. The Greek government’s inability to agree on how to cut public spending highlights the ongoing fragility of the situation there.
The pressure on the Greek government continues to mount with the Troika, consisting of the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, asking it to strengthen policy efforts. The Troika will be in Athens in early September to decide on whether Greece has done enough to ensure that additional loan installments from its second bailout package can be disbursed.
On Friday, the U.S. stocks rose as investor confidence was lifted by encouraging indications that the economy was regaining momentum. According to the Conference Board’s report on Leading Index, a composite index based on 10 economic indicators designed to predict the future direction of the economy, it rose 0.4 percent in July up from the 0.3 percent fall in June. The Consumer Sentiment Index published that the University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters rose to 73.6 in August, up from 72.3 in July.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.19 percent, the S&P 500 Index was up 0.19 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.46 percent.
European indices were mixed as market players remained cautious before the meetings between Greek and European leaders commence to decide on additional reform steps to be taken by Greece. London’s FTSE 100 was down 3.43 points, Germany's DAX 30 Index rose 8.09 points and France's CAC 40 dropped 1.86 points.
Asian stocks dropped as investor sentiment turned negative amid lack of measures from policymakers around the world to assuage the weakening global economic condition.