U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Monday ahead of data expected to show the U.S. manufacturing sector grew in October alongside improved global manufacturing.

Ford Motor Co shares rose 8 percent to $7.56 in premarket trading after the U.S. carmaker surprised Wall Street with a quarterly profit supported by cost cuts, improved credit results, and increased market share.

Factory activity in the euro zone expanded for the first time in 17 months and picked up in Britain and China, suggesting a global economic recovery is underway.

Crude futures rose 0.7 percent and the Reuters/Jefferies CRB commodities index <.CRB> added 0.6 percent as the data helped to allay fears about the pace of the rebound in global demand for commodities.

U.S. manufacturing data from the Institute of Supply Management is due at 10 a.m. EST and is expected to show growth in the sector for the third-straight month.

The uptick in global manufacturing shows things are still on track as far a world production, and that is good for the world economy, said Scott Marcouiller, senior equity market strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors in St. Louis.

Even with Ford posting some pretty solid numbers, Marcouiller said, the market is past earnings and has moved on to economic data.

The banking sector could be in the spotlight after CIT Group Inc , a U.S. lender to hundreds of thousands of small and medium-sized businesses, filed for bankruptcy on Sunday.

The bankruptcy filing by a lender with as many clients as CIT is definitely a negative, but was already priced into the steep market decline on Friday, said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon Partners in New York.

S&P 500 futures rose 5.5 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 43 points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 3.5 points.

After weak U.S. consumer sentiment data released on Friday, investors were bracing for more U.S. macro data on construction spending as well as pending home sales, also due at 10 a.m.

Comcast Corp and General Electric Co are closer to a deal to give Comcast a 51 percent stake in NBC Universal and a formal announcement may be made in the coming week, the New York Times said, citing people briefed on the talks.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc's shares jumped 8.3 percent to $36.36 after its closely watched hepatitis C drug proved nearly as effective in a twice-daily regimen as three times a day, knocking out the virus in more than 80 percent of patients in both groups in a small study.

Progressive Corp
rose 8.8 percent to $17.40 after financial publication Barron's said the auto insurance company was poised to expand its revenue and earnings for the first time in several years.

Denbury Resources Inc has agreed to buy Encore Acquisition Co for $3.2 billion to create one of North America's largest oil production and exploration companies.

The Dow industrials <.DJI> slid on Friday 249.85 points, or 2.51 percent, to end at 9,712.73. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> tumbled 29.92 points, or 2.81 percent, to 1,036.19. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> dropped 52.44 points, or 2.50 percent, to close at 2,045.11.

The steep decline on Friday sent the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index <.VIX> up 23.95 percent, its largest percentage jump in a year. It closed at 30.69, the highest it has been since July.

(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)