Stocks were set for a higher open on Monday as investors shrugged off last week's dismal employment data and shifted focus to the Federal Reserve's assessment of the economy following a meeting of its policymakers later this week.
Technology shares were also in the spotlight, including Hewlett-Packard Co
The Fed is widely expected to renew its vow to keep rates near zero for an extended period, but markets will watch closely to see if Fed officials are growing more concerned the recovery is at risk or that there is a danger of entering a vicious cycle of falling prices and slowing growth.
We're brushing off some of the bad data (last week) this morning, but what people are really paying attention to is what the Fed will say tomorrow, what they have to say about the economy and their future actions, said Tom Schrader, managing director of U.S. equity trading at Stifel Nicolaus Capital Markets in Baltimore.
There is a discrepancy on Friday's closing price of HP shares. On the New York Stock Exchange, the main venue where the stock trades, the closing price is listed as $46.30, while other exchanges, including the Nasdaq, the price is listed as $41.85.
S&P 500 futures rose 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 42 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 7 points.
Index futures also got a boost from European shares that bounced back on Monday after German exports reached their highest level since late 2008, feeding hopes of a faster-than-expected recovery in the region.
Oil futures rose 0.5 percent to $81.12 a barrel, boosting appetite for riskier assets.
Shares of Research in Motion Ltd
(Editing by Padraic Cassidy.)