Futures on major U.S. stock indices point to a higher opening on Monday, the first trading day of 2011, after stocks ended with double digit gains in the previous year.

Futures on the S&P 500 are up 0.29 percent, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are up 0.63 percent and Nasdaq100 futures are up 0.83 percent.

U.S. stock markets recorded good gains in 2010, with the S&P 500 rising about 12 percent, the Dow gained more than 10 percent and Nasdaq advanced around 16 percent.

Investors are likely to focus on U.S. December ISM and construction spending numbers which are due to be released after the markets open.

ISM manufacturing for the month of December will be released after markets open and is expected to show a slight gain in activity. Economists are forecasting that ISM manufacturing index for the month of December will be 57.30 against 56.60 in the previous month.

Chinese manufacturing expanded at the slowest pace in three months in December after the government tightened monetary policy to check spiraling inflation and clamped down on polluting, high energy-intensive factories. Chinese manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) declined to 53.9 in October from 55.2 in the previous month.

On Friday, US stocks finished 2010 with a whimper amidst sluggish holiday trading, although equity indices delivered quite a strong year in performance.

The euro declined 0.47 percent to 1.3320 against the dollar and the yen declined 0.39 percent against the greenback.

Crude oil futures advanced 0.71 percent to $92.03/barrel and gold futures fell 0.01 percent.

European stock markets are currently trading higher with DAX30 up by 107.93 points and CAC 40 up by 85.79 points.