Stocks were set to open higher on Monday, building on last week's gains and tracking a rise in global equities, after strong euro zone industrial data reassured investors the global economic rebound is on track.
European shares hit a four-week high after April euro zone industrial output surged year-on-year at the highest pace in almost two decades, easing concerns that a slowdown in Europe could curb global growth.
The financial Select Sector SPDR fund rose nearly 1 percent as banks led the European advance, while French insurer AXA SA jumped 3 percent on talks of a UK asset sale to Resolution Ltd .
A burst of short-covering also helped lift the euro as sentiment toward risky assets improved. The common currency has been a barometer for European stability, with U.S. stocks tracking its movements.
We've been having a correlation, and as the euro rebound continues, so does the S&P's rise, said Frank Lesh, futures analyst and broker at FuturePath Trading LLC in Chicago.
Euro short covering started last week in earnest and data showed things are not as bad as expected, he said. I don't think we've seen the lows yet on the euro, but for now things are stable.
S&P 500 futures rose 8.8 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 71 points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 16 points.
The S&P faces a psychological hurdle at the 1,100 level and then a technical one near 1,108, its 200-day simple moving average.
Oil futures climbed 2.6 percent to $75.66 per barrel on renewed optimism about the global economic recovery. The Energy Select Sector SPDR fund rose 1.2 percent.
BP Plc's N.Y.-traded shares fell 3.7 percent to $32.73 in premarket trading as U.S. President Barack Obama was set to press BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg to set up an escrow account to pay damage claims by individuals and businesses hurt by the oil spill disaster.
Cablevision Systems Corp will be in view after the big cable television operator said it will buy Bresnan Communications, which owns systems in the Western United States, for about $1.3 billion.
Fertilizer producer Mosaic Co is in talks to buy Mexico's Grupo Fertinal in a deal worth as much as $1 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported.
U.S. stocks rose Friday in a late rally as a strong forecast from chipmaker National Semiconductor Corp lifted technology shares after an unexpected drop in retail sales hurt sentiment.
For the week, the Dow rose 2.8 percent, the S&P gained 2.5 percent, and the Nasdaq advanced 1.1 percent.
(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)