Wall Street was poised for a flat open on Monday as positive quarterly results from companies, including CVS Caremark Corp and Hasbro Inc, offset nagging worries about euro zone sovereign debt issues.
Dow component Home Depot Inc
Over the weekend, European finance ministers tried to assure their counterparts in the Group of Seven industrialized nations that the euro zone's debt crisis is under control. They said they would make sure that Greece sticks with its budget-cutting plans.
Worries about Greece's financial problems and their potential to spread to other euro zone countries or beyond has taken the steam out of Wall Street's rally in recent weeks.
It's difficult enough for investors to digest when companies can't meet obligations. When countries can't meet their obligations, it sends more pronounced shivers through the market, said Andre Bakhos, president of Princeton Financial Group in North Brunswick, New Jersey.
It hurts sentiment in the fact that the underlying global fundamentals remain shaky.
Although earnings season has largely taken a backseat to debt concerns, better-than-expected quarterly results from CVS Caremark
S&P 500 futures rose 1.2 points but were below 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 added 6 points, while Nasdaq 100 futures were off 0.5 of a point.
Stocks erased a mid-day drop to end slightly higher on Friday, closing out a volatile week punctuated by mixed signals from labor market data and growing anxiety over the fiscal problems in Europe.
The huge move Friday into the close gave us a more positive tone going into today, said Michael James, senior trader at regional investment bank Wedbush Morgan in Los Angeles.
Shedding more light on the U.S. economy, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Sunday the risk that it will slip back into recession is lower now than at any time in the past year, but he said that recovery will be slow and uneven.
Even so, debt concerns remained in the spotlight. The chief executive of PIMCO, the world's biggest bond fund, voiced concerns about massive U.S. debt levels, saying he preferred to invest in German government bonds rather than Treasuries.
CIT Group Inc
(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)