Stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street on Monday, with stocks looking to extend last week's gains on signs that major world economies were emerging from recession.
U.S. stocks ended last week at 2009 highs after a surprising rise in home sales and optimistic comments from Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke reassured investors about the prospects for an economic recovery.
Providing more evidence was euro zone data showing industrial new orders rebounded more than expected in June against the previous month.
Futures gains are following gains from Asia and Europe, according to Steve Goldman, market strategist at Weeden & Co in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Momentum is probably one basis (for the rise in futures), but it is also the fact that the gains have been so extraordinarily broad based with every group and every sector participating, he said.
S&P 500 futures were up 4.7 points and 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 33 points while Nasdaq 100 futures added 2.25 points.
Citigroup said financial stocks, as well as banks and insurance groups, were all trading well below their mean relative performance levels, suggesting opportunity remains in place even after the impressive rally experienced over the past five months.
Barclays Capital upgraded American Express Co
Shares of Advanced Micro Devices
Regarding company news, Warner Chilcott
Crude oil futures rose 0.5 percent to $74.25, adding to gains after settling at a 10-month high on Friday, supported by expectations that an economic recovery would spur demand for oil.
Nouriel Roubini, one of the few economists who accurately predicted the magnitude of the world's recent financial troubles, sees a big risk of a double-dip recession, according to an opinion piece posted on the Financial Times Web site on Sunday.
On the economic data front, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago said its National Activity Index was minus 0.74 in July, up from minus 1.82 in June, as production-related indicators turned positive for the first time since October.
At noon, the Chicago Fed will also release its Midwest Manufacturing Index for July. The index read 78.1 in June.
(Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)