Wall Street was set to open higher on Monday on expectations that rising commodity prices and a downtick in the U.S. dollar would boost stocks in the energy and materials sectors and after brokerages upgrades on Alcoa and Intel.
Morgan Stanley upgraded Alcoa Inc to overweight, and separately Alcoa announced a partnership Sunday with Saudi Arabian Mining Co Ltd <1211.SE> to develop a low-cost aluminum complex in the world. Alcoa shares rose 4 percent to $15.16 in premarket trading.
Intel Corp , a Dow component, rose 1.8 percent to $19.96 premarket after Barclays raised its rating to overweight.
The dollar index <.DXY> edged 0.2 percent lower, while February crude gained 1 percent to $75.15 per barrel. The January contract expires later Monday.
We've got a mildly positive commodities complex and mildly weaker dollar, which seem to be the drivers early here, said Art Hogan, chief market analyst at Jefferies & Co in Boston.
S&P 500 futures rose 6.1 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 37 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 7.5 points.
The health-care sector is in focus after a broad health-care overhaul passed a crucial test in the U.S. Senate early Monday, as enough votes were put together to clear a key procedural hurdle in approving President Barack Obama's top legislative priority.
Drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis agreed to buy U.S. consumer health-care group Chattem Inc for about $1.9 billion in a deal to give Sanofi over-the-counter presence in the United States. Chattem shares soared about 33 percent to $92.93.
, the world's biggest drugmaker, is buying the rights to a stem-cell therapy to treat inflammatory bowel disease from Athersys Inc .
Terex Corp , the world's third biggest maker of heavy earth-moving equipment, is selling its mining business for $1.3 billion in cash to mining equipment maker Bucyrus International Inc , the companies said Sunday. Terex shares were up 9 percent to $20.94, while Bucyrus added 6.5 percent to $54.16.
Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc's
New York-traded shares rose 2.8 percent to $107.90 premarket after Goldman Sachs added the company to its conviction buy list. Goldman also upgraded Mosaic Corp to buy from neutral, and the stock added 3.2 percent to $56.99 in light trade.
Investors will keep an eye on Dubai after debt-ridden conglomerate Dubai World , which met its creditors on Monday, said it will work to seek a debt standstill in an orderly way and will get government financial support if an agreement is reached.
(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)