Wall Street was poised to open about 1 percent higher on Monday, building on last month's solid gains as investors focused on encouraging corporate results, including strong bank earnings out of Europe.
Wall Street wrapped up its best month in a year on Friday, with the major indexes posting 7 percent increases for July as markets bounced back from a sell-off through May and June.
Strong results in Europe from big banks BNP Paribas SA
U.S. bank shares were also lifted following the results, with Citigroup Inc
With companies such as HSBC and BNP Paribas reporting better-than-expected numbers this morning, it lends itself to be a bullish backdrop to the start of the month, said Andre Bakhos, director of market analytics at Lek Securities in New York.
On the economic front, data showed manufacturing in China shrank in July for the first time since March 2009, while it perked up in the euro zone. Markets appeared to take the Chinese data as a signal of a desired slowdown rather than an indication of a slump.
Shares of Coca-Cola Co
S&P 500 futures gained 13.5 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 jumped 109 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 19 points.
Nonetheless, S&P futures encountered resistance at the 200-day moving average of 1,112.22.
Domestic data on tap later in the morning includes ISM manufacturing for July and construction spending for June, both due at 10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT). The ISM reading is expected to come in at 54.1, compared with 56.2 the month before, while construction spending is seen falling 0.5 percent versus a decline of 0.2 the previous month, according to a Reuters poll.
Investors will be looking at comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke as he speaks before the Southern Legislative Conference's annual meeting later Monday.
Barron's also said Bank of America Corp's
Energy shares could get a lift as oil hit a 12-week high topping $80 a barrel on optimism over the strength of the recovery and the outlook for energy demand. Exxon Mobil Corp
(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)